Council objects to homes plans near Oswestry hillfort
Oswestry Town Council has objected to plans for more than 100 homes in the shadow of the historic iron age hillfort, despite a planning inspector allocating the land for housing.
The application for the two phase development on land off Whittington Road has been met by protests from historians and the Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort group.
The plans have been submitted to Shropshire Council by Berrys on behalf of Galliers Homes.
The site was included in Shropshire Council’s SAMDev housing policy five years ago and now the company has put in plans for 52 homes in Phase One and asked for outline permission for more homes in Phase Two.
A representative from the company attended Wednesday’s town council meeting and said that the site had industrial buildings on one side and a garage and housing on another.
“A pedestrian route from the site entrance will draw people along a tree-lined avenue to the best viewpoint of the Hill Fort where there will be an observation point with seating and interpretation boards,” the spokesperson said.
"This is a well thought out and well designed scheme that invests in Oswestry's future and respects a plan-led approach to new development.
"New pedestrian and cycle routes will be provided to enable residents from eastern Oswestry to walk or cycle to the former railway line and Gobowen Road."
Councillors Chris Schofield and Paul Milner, voting to support the application, said Oswestry was in desperate need of affordable housing.
But Councillor Peter Cherrington said Oswestry had permission for many hundreds of homes that had been granted some years ago yet building had still not started.
“It is wrong that developers can land bank sites that are desperately needed for housing,” he said.
Objecting to the plans, Councillor Sandy Best said they were inappropriate in the setting of such a nationally important historic site.
Councillor Duncan Kerr added: “We are very fortunate that the setting of the hillfort hasn’t been encroached upon and I don’t want to be responsible for that encroachment.”
He also called for the application to have better tree cover on the site and to have a bigger percentage of affordable housing.
Councillors voted 6-4 to object to Shropshire Council over the application.