Shropshire Star

Plan for up to 150 homes near Shrewsbury retail park granted on appeal

A plan to build up to 150 homes on land near a Shrewsbury retail park has been granted at appeal.

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The site lies between Meole Brace Retail Park and the park and ride.

Diageo Pension Trust Limited, care of Savills Investment Management, appealed to Whitehall after Shropshire Council rejected proposals in September 2019 for land south of the Meole Brace Retail Park.

A planning inspector has now decided that there is more good than harm that can come from the proposal and given it the green light.

In a decision letter sent in early December the Planning Inspectorate decided that it would make a good contribution to the council's target to provide 27,500 new homes by 2026. Shrewsbury's share of that is approximately 6,500, even though the site currently sits outside the development boundary.

The land has however been earmarked for housing in the council’s new local plan – which has been submitted for government examination.

"Although the council has more than a five-years supply of deliverable housing land, housing requirements are set as minima," the decision letter noted.

"Therefore, the delivery of up to 150 dwellings would positively support the Government’s objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes.

"There would also be significant social benefits associated with this in terms of the greater availability and choice of new housing."

A earlier map of how the site could look but this is being re-examined

The inspector also said the site would make a contribution towards social housing where there is a dire need in the county. Some 25 per cent of the development has been earmarked for affordable housing.

Shropshire Council, the inspector said, has a target to allow 450 affordable homes each year but "in general the council has failed to achieve this rate.

The inspector said: "Despite the council’s assertions that the appellant’s evidence does not take account of affordable housing delivered on rural developments, the information before me confirms that there are more than 5,000 households requiring affordable housing in Shropshire."

The inspector also said that the site makes a "limited contribution towards the quality of the open countryside" which did not outweigh the positives.