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Council demands meeting with developers over drainage at new site

By Charlotte Bentley | Wem | News | Published:

A council has demanded a meeting with housing developers after it objected to plans to improve water drainage at a new site.

Wem Town Council have objected to plans to improve drainage on a housing site on land off Roden Grove through the creation of swales, citing the retrospective nature of the planning application.

At a meeting on Thursday, the council criticised the plans, saying the swales had already been created ahead of planning permission being given and have requested a meeting with developers and residents to discuss the issues face to face.

Wem residents also attended the meeting, and expressed their concerns over Fletcher Homes' creation of the swales which are intended to drain surface water from the land.

Swales on the site - credit: George Nash

Chris Mellings, county councillor for Wem, said: "My job as a town councillor and a county councillor is to represent the concerns of local people.

"As we have seen by attendance tonight and the comments on the website there is a lot of concern about the application – not just what the application wants to do, but the fact it has already been done.

"There is another issue as well in that they have constructed a connection into the river and have said that a valve has not been put in yet so at the moment there is water that can flow freely in and out.

Technical

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"I have spoken to the Environment Agency this week and they have received no permit application, so no permit has been granted to discharge into and from the river.

"So not only have swales been built without permission but it looks like the connection into the river has also been done without permission. We have filed enforcement complaints on the planning side and the Environment Agency are now following up an investigation from their perspective.

"Nobody likes to say I told you so, but from the outset we knew what this site was like. This is why planning did not happen in the first place because of the nature of it, now we see the consequences of that. I'm not a technical person at all but common sense will tell you what the site is like."

George Nash, Wem Town Councillor, said: "Residents need answers and they deserve answers. Roden Grove residents need assurances from someone about flooding."

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Swales on the site - credit: George Nash

The town council have sent the following response regarding the plans: "The town council strongly object to the application for the following reasons: the impact of the proposals on neighbouring properties which are already experiencing problems with flooding and the loss of recreational land on the development will be below requirements.

"The town council consider that this application should be treated as a retrospective application as the swales have already been created and therefore development has already taken place without permission.

"Shropshire Council should take enforcement action over this. The town council request a meeting should be held with developers and residents to address concerns."

Charlotte Bentley

By Charlotte Bentley
Community Reporter - @CharlotteB_Star

Community Reporter at the Shropshire Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Shropshire and Mid Wales. Contact me at charlotte.bentley@shropshirestar.co.uk.

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