Shropshire Star

Flooding fears put brakes on Shropshire abattoir's parking plan

A south Shropshire abbatoir will need to go back to the drawing board after plans to cover a water-course were thrown out.

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Euro Quality Lambs, Craven Arms. Picture: Google

Craven Arms firm Euro Quality Lambs submitted the scheme to create extra space for lorry parking at its yard on Dale Street, by covering over 70 metres of a brook which runs into the nearby River Onny.

The company said the move would be a temporary measure until it moved to new premises at nearby Newington Farm, which it plans to do over the next three to five years.

However, Shropshire Council rejected the proposal due to concerns over the potential for blockages in the culvert, which they feared could lead to flooding on nearby roads.

In a planning statement, Euro Quality Lambs said the scheme would allow free movement for vehicles on the site, which is cut in half by the brook, and reduce movements of lorries which currently have to turn onto the public highway to move between the two halves of the firm’s premises.

“The extension of the existing culvert will remove a hazardous and unnecessary incidental operational obstruction to the public highway to the site,” they said.

“The open area [of the watercourse] crosses the middle of a busy commercial lorry park and inevitably this exposes the watercourse to various polluting detritus and potentially the increased risk of polluting chemicals, despite the best endeavours of the business proprietors.”

The scheme had been recommended for refusal due to concerns with debris blocking the proposed culvert, which the applicant had argued was irrelevant as the watercourse already ran through a culvert under Corvedale Road.

At a meeting of Shropshire Council’s planning committee, councillors expressed concerns over the lack of access to clear obstructions which may occur, and also with the apparently temporary nature of the development.

“I am nervous about capping over a waterway and going against policy. I was nervous before, when I read the application. I’m even more nervous now I hear it’s only temporary,” said Councillor Andy Boddington.

“What we’re doing is breaking a policy for a temporary fix.”

Councillor Nigel Lumby agreed, saying he wouldn’t be able to support the scheme due to it running against the council’s policy on covering over watercourses.

“I’m really worried about what was said by the flood officer than this will set a precedent,” he said.

“I’m starting to hear a little bit of ‘policies are there to be broken’ and that’s not the sort of environment I, as a planning committee member, want to be in.”