Affordable homes development could start in summer if approved

Work could start on a new development of affordable homes in a village as soon as this summer, if planning permission is granted.

The application for 24 homes in Whittington is still yet to be decided, but contractors are already being invited to tender for the work with a view to starting on-site at the end of August.

The plans, put forward by Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing (STAR), Shropshire Council’s affordable housing provider, are for a plot of land off Penybryn Avenue.

Developed with input from a steering group made up of parish councillors and residents, the scheme includes 10 bungalows and 14 houses.

A tender invite issued by the council on STAR’s behalf says the work should be completed by August 2022.

The deadline for construction companies to bid for the work, which falls in the £1 million to £5 million bracket, is next Friday, May 7.

Ian Kilby, Shropshire Council’s planning services manager, said the tender process was “completely independent” of planning.

The site is not earmarked for housing in the council’s development plan, and lies just outside the defined boundary of the village.

However council has advised that the principle of a 100 per cent affordable housing development would be acceptable as a ‘rural exception site’.

The application has been supported by the parish council, but has received 19 objections from members of the public.

The application was lodged in October last year and Martin Whitelegg, STAR Housing’s neighbourhoods manager, said at the time: “This is an extremely exciting development for us, and one which we’ve worked extensively with Shropshire Council’s affordable housing team, Whittington Parish Council and local residents to get right.”

The application is expected to be decided by the council’s northern planning committee at some point after the local election.

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