Housing targets are overblown

Relentless development and overblown building targets are threatening Shropshire's special qualities, a national campaign group says.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England urging people to respond to a consultation on plans to build an extra 10,000 homes across the county.

It is challenging what it says are unrealistic development targets set out by Shropshire Council as part of its Local Plan Review.

The public consultation is due to go live tomorrow and will remain open until December 22.

Shropshire Council is reviewing its local plan, moving it forward by ten years.

Although almost 19,000 homes are already set to be built in the county, the plan says a further 10,000 will be needed by 2036.

Charles Green for CPRE Shropshire said: “When Shropshire Council recently announced its preferred options for the scale and distribution of development over the coming 20 years, we were astonished and disappointed.

"It disregarded earlier consultation preferences which had clearly shown support for lower levels of development.

“Having challenged the council on this point at last week’s cabinet meeting, we are convinced that the people of this beautiful and unique county need to come together to demonstrate what they really think about those in authority imposing unrealistic targets on them.”

Mr Green said CPRE Shropshire was not against all housing development but stressed it needed to be the right types of housing in the right areas to support the genuine needs of the county’s diverse population.

He added: “As part of its 2015 development allocations, Shropshire Council outlined what it said was a sustainable approach to the distribution of future development.

"Along with town and parish councils, it set local housing guidelines for communities that were willing to accept development.

"In many instances those guidelines have already been grossly exceeded, in some cases six-fold.

"We are determined to ensure that the views of local people are now clearly demonstrated – and, we hope, listened to.

“People are therefore being asked to decide whether their village should take development, without being told how much they will be asked to take.

"The past gross disregard for some village guidelines should, therefore, serve as a further stark warning to the people of Shropshire to take action and respond to this latest consultation.”

Residents wishing to contribute their views on Shropshire Council’s housing proposals, should visit http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/local-plan-review-preferred-scale-and-distribution-of-development/ where further details of the public consultation can be found.

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