Decision over 30,000-homes plan for Shropshire pushed back after 2,500 consultation responses

A decision over plans which will set out where more than 30,000 homes will be built in Shropshire is being delayed by a month because of the huge number of responses from the public.

Shropshire Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve the latest ‘pre-submission’ version of its 'Local Plan' at a meeting next month.

The plan sets out locations for 30,800 homes in towns and villages across the county, to be built up until 2038.

There have been controversial elements of the proposals, such as the recommendations for Bridgnorth and Shifnal, and concern over some sites in Church Stretton, Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury, Whitchurch and Oswestry.

In Bridgnorth the council switched from backing a garden village at Stanmore to a similar development at Tasley instead. Both proposals have attracted significant opposition.

Following the latest round of consultation on the plan this summer, it was due to go before the council's cabinet on November 23, but the meeting has now been put back until December 7.

The council said this was "in order for officers to give full consideration to the significant level of feedback received".

Around 2,500 people responded to the consultation.

Importance

The latest consultation followed four earlier stages of consultation on the local plan since 2017.

Robert Macey, the council's cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “This latest version of the plan was due to go before cabinet later this month but we have decided to push that back by two weeks.

“We have had more than 2,500 responses in the most recent round of consultation and we felt that given the importance and interest in the issue, it is only fair to give us more time to consider every response fully.

“Therefore, it will now go before cabinet in early December once we are certain that everything has been given full consideration.

“I want to thank everybody who took part in the consultation, it is so valuable to have your feedback.

“The local plan review is of importance to the whole of the county and we know there is significant interest in the next phase.

“The plan will feature our key policies on important issues like affordable housing, climate change and economic growth. It sets out how the needs and aspirations of our county can be supported in the long term.”

If it gains cabinet approval on December 7, it will be subject to a further period of public consultation between December and January, ahead of its proposed submission to Government for independent examination in April 2021, subject to approval by the council.

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