Angry residents 'let down' over noise and traffic woes at Shrewsbury development take case higher

Disgruntled residents say they have been "let down" after being ignored over noise, traffic and damage being caused by the building of a new housing estate in Shrewsbury.

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Weir Hill Action Group, who represent residents in the Belvidere area of the town near where the Weir Hill estate is being built, claim they were waiting 16 weeks for a response from Shropshire Council after logging a formal complaint.

They say now they have no option but to refer the matter to the local government ombudsman.

For the past two years, the group has been recording what it considers failures of planning conditions set for the Taylor Wimpey/Persimmon Homes development.

In that time, residents say they have logged over 1,100 failures with little or no action from Shropshire Council.

Despite lodging two formal planning complaints and having written regularly to council officers and the developers, residents say they have seen little or no improvement as further issues come to light.

Last December, the group made its second official complaint against the council over “nightmare” noise, near-miss accidents and muddy roads.

Other issues the group claims flout planning conditions include breaches of school curfews, inadequate tree protection, surface water drainage, traffic congestion caused by failure to open the new link road for public use and flooding and damage to the Severn Way National Footpath.

'Lack of confidence'

Malcolm Bird, chairman of the Weir Hill Action Group, said: "Many residents have voiced a lack of confidence in the council.

"Their inaction over an extended period has encouraged, reinforced and allowed the developers to largely ignore planning conditions to suit their operations to the detriment of the health, safety and amenity of residents and the environment.

"The council have let residents down badly as well as failing in their stated objectives written into their own Planning Enforcement Protocol.”

Local resident and fellow campaigner Yvonne Aust added: “It is, perhaps with some irony that the Council Planning Enforcement Protocol recognises that public confidence in the planning system would be quickly undermined if development is not monitored - and allowed to proceed without intervention by the Local Planning Authority.”

Ian Kilby, Head of Planning Services with Shropshire Council, said: “The Weir Hill Action Group (WHAG) submitted a complaint in December about construction impacts of a housing development on land off Preston Street. This is an allocated housing site in the Local Plan which has the benefit of planning permission.

“The complaints raised by WHAG allege breaches of planning control with particular regard to construction impacts and with regard to compliance with relevant planning conditions . These issues are being dealt with through Shropshire Council’s planning enforcement process and are also being addressed by the developers directly.

“This has included the provision of a camera to monitor traffic using Preston Street introduced by the council and additional advance warning signs on all approaches to redirect all construction traffic to the London Road entrance to the site.

“The enforcement process is not concluded and WHAG has introduced additional concerns through this process which are also being investigated. It would not therefore be appropriate to comment further at this stage while investigations continue and WHAG will be updated directly when the enforcement process is concluded."

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