Shropshire Star

Pledge to 'fight by all legal means' to stop Shrewsbury care village 'damaging landscape'

A town council will "fight with all legal means" to stop a controversial new care village being built.

Demonstrators outside the planning inquiry

A scheme for 182 units of care accommodation and a 75-bed nursing home at Hencote estate off Ellesmere Road in Shrewsbury has been subject of a major planning inquiry this week, which saw protests outside Shirehall.

Developers say it is "much needed" in the town, however objectors insisted it would attract more retired people to the area and put more pressure on local health services as a result.

Shrewsbury Town Council is to discuss what happened in the Shropshire Council inquiry next week.

At a recent meeting a motion was carried in which the town council made its stance on the development clear.

In it they said councillors and people of Shrewsbury were "shocked" to hear that Shropshire Council was to offer no evidence at the inquiry into the appeal against the refusal of planning permission, which only became apparent towards the end of last week, giving "no time for objectors to consider this new information".

They said it is due to the appellant's "last-minute offer" of £1.3m towards affordable housing.

The town council said: "Not only is the sum offered derisory – normally three to five times that amount would be offered – but in no way does it recompense residents and visitors for the irrevocable harm to a striking and highly visible part of Shrewsbury’s landscape. Moreover, the threat to nearby ecology cannot be fully computed, particularly as the damage from run-off from the site would only become apparent during and after construction.

"Previous planning applications on the site have highlighted the problematic highways concerns regarding additional traffic. The argument put forward by the developer, that this development would help Shrewsbury increase care spaces, is disingenuous. In practice this development would attract wealthy retirees from across the country. It would only add to the growing pressures upon our hard-pressed hospitals which already have to deal with the consequences of a higher than average number of older people."

The town council resolved "to deplore Shropshire Council’s response to the developer’s offer and to fight this proposed development by all legal means, to call on the Planning Inspector to adjourn the inquiry into the development at Hencote until objectors have had the opportunity to consider the developer’s latest offer, and to reconsider the town council’s approach to dealing with future planning appeals."