Plan for homes near Old Oswestry Hillfort dropped
Plans for 100 homes in the shadow of Oswestry's historic hillfort have been dropped.
Galliers Homes has withdrawn its planning applications for a two-phase development on land off Whittington Road, near Old Oswestry Hillfort.
The applications, submitted in the summer of 2019, provoked a public outcry with more than 150 objections lodged with Shropshire Council and the launch of the Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort campaign group.
But while the proposed two-phase scheme has been shelved by Galliers Homes, the site remains earmarked for housing in Shropshire Council’s current Site Allocations and Management of Development (SAMDev) Plan.
A planning statement submitted by planning consultants Berrys on behalf of Galliers had said the development would address a housing shortage in the area.
It highlighted the fact that just 925 homes were built in Oswestry between 2006 and 2018, out of the 2,600 the council said the town needed.
The statement said: “There simply are no better sites available in or adjoining Oswestry.”
The developer maintained the scheme would not have a physical impact on the historically important Iron Age monument, around 450 metres to the west of the site.
But the Prehistoric Society, Oswestry Town Council and Historic England said its proximity to the hillfort would have a negative impact.
The Prehistoric Society said: “The current proposals clearly impact upon the setting of the monument and will diminish the impact it makes within its landscape by restricting the ability to view it clearly.
“The insertion of more buildings will adversely affect the site by hemming it in and the incremental development will lead to it losing its predominance and becoming an isolated island, surrounded by development, rather than being the hillfort and focus of settlement and authority within a clear landscape.”
Historic England also said it had “serious concerns” about the applications on heritage grounds.