Neighbours object to 97-home plan for Shropshire

Residents have rallied to voice their objections to proposals for almost 100 houses and flats to be built on an area of woodland and open space.

Longford Turning development - artist's impression
Longford Turning development - artist's impression

Applicant the Healey Estate has now lodged its long-awaited plans for the Longford Turning scheme in Market Drayton with Shropshire Council.

The landowner says the development, which includes 97 homes alongside the creation of a three-acre country park will benefit the community, but householders living nearby disagree.

The land, known as Damson Wood Walk, lies between Tern Valley Business Park and existing houses in Sherwood Crescent, and campaigners say the loss of the “buffer” between the industrial units and residential areas would lead to noise complaints as well as the destruction of wildlife habitats.

A design and access statement, by planning consultants Scroxton & Partners on behalf of the applicant stated that the project would enhance the area and provide a safe and accessible pathway down to the River Tern through the new country park.

The plans include apartment blocks containing a total of 26 one and two-bedroom flats, and a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses in “an integrated community of multiple generations”.

Justification

The statement says: “The new homes and the park areas are connected with new footpaths across the site that links to the new country park near the river, the adjacent properties on the east of the site, and the commercial area on the west of the site.

“These new links are created with a boulevard of trees to celebrate the landscape within the site.

“The existing tree buffer zones are retained to act as a screening and a natural acoustic barrier between the new site and the adjacent properties/commercial area.

“The new access to the river area from the new houses and woodlands is provided with a new disabled access ramp which is surrounded by a new meadow and wildflower area.

“This new development celebrates the green landscape with pockets of parks that are overlooked by high-quality homes, providing a safer and friendly environment.”

The plans have already attracted 30 objections from members of the public within days of being made available on the council’s website. Objections include fears that the loss of a much-loved community field and woodland would impact people’s physical and mental health, as well as environmental, traffic and noise concerns.

Shropshire Council’s ecology team has also objected, saying: “The applicant has not submitted the justification that the socio-economic benefits of the development outweigh the environmental harm.”

It raised concerns about the presence of bats, otters and badgers on the site, along with the loss of much of the existing woodland, and recommended that planning permission be refused.

Shropshire Council is also considering an application for the land to be designated an asset of community value, and the bid has been supported by Market Drayton Town Council. A decision is due by New Year’s Eve.

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