Shropshire Star

Referendum to be held over town’s development plan

A referendum is set to be called over a new development plan for a south Shropshire town.

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Cleobury Mortimer

Shropshire Council’s cabinet is expected to give the go-ahead next week for the Cleobury Mortimer neighbourhood plan to proceed to a public vote.

The plan includes a raft of new policies to guide future developments, and allocates new housing and business land not included in Shropshire Council’s local plan.

If a majority of voters support the document, the full council will be asked at a future meeting to adopt it as part of the statutory development plan for the area.

It would make the town only the seventh community in the county with an adopted neighbourhood plan.

A report to cabinet by Mark Barrow, director of place, says the area covered by the plan is in line with the town council boundary.

The plan builds on Shropshire Council’s own local development plan with more detailed policies specific to the town, including the allocation of a new housing site on land between Ludlow Road and Catherton Road for 120 homes.

A 1.3 hectare extension of the industrial estate in Tenbury Road is also allocated, along with 0.5 hectares of extra cemetery space.

Once adopted, the neighbourhood plan must be taken into account when any future planning applications are considered.

The town council first revealed its intention to start the process in 2017 when it asked Shropshire Council to formally designate the ‘neighbourhood area’ covered by the plan, which it did following a public consultation.

Since then, the town council has worked with a ‘steering group’ of local volunteers to compile the document.

The town council submitted the draft plan to Shropshire Council earlier this year, and a public consultation was carried out.

The authority appointed neighbourhood planning consultant Tony Burton to carry out the examination of the plan, and the report to cabinet says he has now judged that it meets the required legal conditions, subject to a number of modifications.

Mr Barrow’s report concludes: “Further to the outcomes of the examiner’s report into the Cleobury Mortimer neighbourhood development plan, it is recommended that all the necessary modifications are agreed and that the final version of the plan proceed to local referendum.”

If cabinet agrees, the referendum will be held on a date between November 30 and January 11.

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