More homes for village despite fears of over-development

Concerns have been raised that a village near Oswestry is being over-developed after a planning application for another new housing scheme was approved.

Councillor Joyce Barrow
Councillor Joyce Barrow

Wrekin Housing Trust’s plans to build 20 affordable home on a site of Weston Road, in Morda, were backed by Shropshire Council’s northern planning committee on Tuesday.

This was despite pleas from Oswestry Rural Parish Council, the local member Councillor Joyce Barrow and five members of the public that the village had become overdeveloped in recent years.

Further concerns were raised about road safety, community cohesion, school capacity and flooding.

Morda is classed as ‘open countryside’ in planning policy terms, meaning new development is usually resisted. Exceptions can however be made for 100 per cent affordable housing schemes where a local need can be demonstrated.

Planning officer Philip Mullineux told the committee that Morda was a recognised settlement with a range of services and facilities, including a primary school with available places.

While there was a perception that Morda had seen an "influx" of housing, this related to a high volume of homes approved around 2013, when the council had no five-year housing land supply. Since then, Mr Mullineux said, the village had seen an average of 15 new homes built a year.


Councillor Barrow, who represents St Oswald ward, spoke against the application, saying: “There is real concern from residents and my parish council about this application.

“The village of Morda has taken more and more development over the years, more than any other part of my area. Social cohesion has been affected, with the last three developments expanding what was a village.”

She said people were worried the development would increase traffic on Weston Road and said people took their lives in their hands walking along the road.

“I feel Morda has become an easy target for dumping new houses," she added. "There is a balance to be had between over-development and providing affordable houses.

“In this instance the affordable housing is outweighed by the damage that will be done to social cohesion and the safety of residents.”

The committee voted unanimously to grant planning permission.

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