South Shropshire town wants to create neighbourhood plan

A south Shropshire community could get more say on how the area is developed under proposals to create a ‘Neighbourhood Plan’.

Church Stretton
Church Stretton

Church Stretton is the latest in a growing list of towns and villages across the county to reveal its intention to produce a plan, which, once adopted, will set out rules that must be followed by developers.

The plan will build on Shropshire Council’s new local plan, which is expected to be adopted later this year following government examination.

Church Stretton Town Council has taken the first step in the process by formally asking Shropshire Council to approve the geographic area the neighbourhood plan will cover.

A report to cabinet, which will meet to discuss the proposal next week, recommends that the neighbourhood area be approved.

The report by Mark Barrow, director of place, says: “Shropshire Council fully supports the principle of areas seeking to develop their own neighbourhood plans to supplement and complement the wider policies of the development plan.”

He added: “The recommendation focusses solely on the extent of the area to be used in the preparation of the proposed neighbourhood plan.

“This recommendation does not deal with the proposed content of the neighbourhood plan, which are issues to be considered by Church Stretton Council in cooperation with Shropshire Council in due course.”

If cabinet agrees to designate the neighbourhood area, the town council will be able – but not obligated – to work with community volunteers to draw up policies for how future developments within the town boundary should be carried out.

The draft document will then be subject to public consultation, examination and a local referendum. If a majority of voters support it, Shropshire Council will be asked to adopt the final version to become part of the statutory development plan for the area.

The report will be considered by cabinet at a meeting next Wednesday.

Only five Shropshire communities currently have an adopted neighbourhood plan – Broseley, Much Wenlock, Shifnal, Woore and Stoke upon Tern – while a draft document covering Cleobury Mortimer is currently out for public consultation.

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