House builder vows to stump up £500,000 for education in Shrewsbury amid concerns

A housing developer has vowed to stump up £500,000 on education in Shrewsbury, as part of a housing development branded "a residential island in a sea of traffic".

An aerial view of where the homes are planned
An aerial view of where the homes are planned

The 150-home development proposed next to Meole Brace Retail Park, in Hereford Road, has drawn plenty of criticism, not least from Councillor Bernie Bentick, who believes it is "in the wrong place".

Objectors voiced concerns including noise, air pollution, traffic congestion, poor provisions for pedestrians and cyclists and over-development, as well as risks to a historic Neolithic site. The development would be on a patch of land between Home Bargains and the park and ride.

Developer Bellway Homes has said it will be making a large financial contribution to education in the area, as well as providing £15,000 for a new bus shelter and £7,500 for cycle facilities in Meole Brace.

Marie Richards, sales director for Bellway West Midlands, said: “The new homes we are building in Shrewsbury are bringing new investment into the town, as well as providing much-needed new homes for the area.

“We hope to extend this commitment to the town by delivering further housing and funding at Darwin’s Edge.

“This latest scheme is sustainable, desirable and meets a local demand for housing. We hope that our plan will go before the planning committee in January next year and that councillors will give permission for these much-needed homes to be built. If our scheme does get the green light, we hope to start work next April.”

As well as the development in Meole, which comprises one, two, three and four-bedroom homes including 37 "affordable" properties, Bellway is also building 224 homes at Copthorne Keep - the former army barracks - as well as 164 at The Spinney, off Oteley Road.

Councillor Bentick previously said: “I still don’t accept this proposed housing development. It’s in the wrong place and on far too large a scale for the area.

"Residents are crying out for real investment in doctors, schools and roads and this new estate would put further strain on our already creaking infrastructure. Additionally, links with other communities are poor.

“There were multiple reasons for objection in the original application, many of which are still relevant.

"If this development proceeds, it will be vital to ensure that traffic issues are resolved, including noise, air pollution, vehicle congestion especially at peak times, safe and free-flowing cycling and pedestrian routes in the vicinity of the development and compliant cycle and pedestrian routes along and across Hereford Road."

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