Shropshire Star

Anger over Shropshire Council Local Plan decision

The decision not to bring Shropshire Council’s Local Plan proposals to scrutiny committee is “flabbergasting”, it has been claimed.

Shirehall, Shropshire Council headquarters

Councillor Julian Dean, member for Porthill and the Green Party leader on the council, said he was stunned that the final local plan proposals will not come before the Place Overview Committee before completion.

Councillor Dean said he was at a loss as to why some more minor issues were worthy of scrutiny, when the local plan, which is set to shape where houses and businesses are built up to 2036 are not.

He said: “I can’t quite believe that we are being told there is no role for scrutiny in looking at the Shropshire’s local plan review.

“That means there’s no chance for public consultation outcomes to be discussed.

“I am flabbergasted by it quite honestly. We have the A-boards devolvement coming to scrutiny but not the local plan.

“Now I know that the A-boards issue is important to some, but the Local Plan is important to all and surely it is an issue that should be coming up in scrutiny.”

He added: “To quote the chair, we were told scrutiny would ‘not add value’ to the process.

“I am struggling to see how the enormous implications of the Local Plan Review, and associated policies, are not appropriate for scrutiny.

“I am also now struggling to see where the opportunities will come for members to consider policy changes that may be required following our climate emergency declaration and following the public consultation exercise, or indeed to consider just modernising the policies used when considering planning applications.”

The decision to send three strategic development sites as part of the Local Plan out to public consultation will be made by cabinet next Wednesday.

It will see plans for the Ironbridge Power Station site, the Clive Barracks site in Tern Hill and RAF Cosford put forward for consultation.

They could form three new housing and business development sites for the county going forward.

Plans for around 3,000 homes and business sites off the M54 at junction 3 near Tong are included but will not be sent for consultation yet as not enough information has come forward.

The cabinet will meet at Shirehall at 11am next Wednesday.