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Plan for Telford and Wrekin was 'too little, too late'

Telford | News | Published:

Opposition councillors have criticised how long it has taken Telford & Wrekin Council for a new planning document to be adopted.

Telford & Wrekin's Local Plan was adopted at a meeting of the full council on Thursday night.

The plan enables the council to determine how and where development will take place in the borough and guide future planning decisions up until 2031.

It means developers will have to abide by stricter rules and green spaces will be protected.

Councillor Richard Overton, cabinet member for housing, said he was "delighted" the Local Plan had now been adopted.

But speaking at the full council meeting, Councillor Andrew Eade, leader of the Tory opposition, said it had taken too long to get to that stage.

He welcomed the existence of a Local Plan saying it would give some protection to the borough, but added it was "too little, too late".

Councillor Eade said it was a "disgrace" that it had taken more than seven years to produce the plan.

Councillor Nigel Dugmore said: "A lot of irreparable damage has already been done."

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He said there were acres of green spaces that had either already been built on or that were earmarked for development.

He added: "It's been a fiasco and a shambles.

"Many residents feel under attack from developers and feel unsupported by this administration."

Councillor Overton said it was a plan for the future and growth of the town, and would provide much-needed housing to the people who need it.

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He said it would also help to support job creation and investment.

He added: "Poorly located and designed developments will be discouraged and resisted and proposals that are compatible with the Local Plan can be approved without delay.

“The plan’s policies will also enable delivery of accommodation that meets current and future need, supports provision of specialist and supported housing and the protection and enhancement of our cultural and heritage assets including green spaces.

“This puts the borough in a very strong position from a planning and economic perspective.

"Following the vote of full council to formally adopt the Local Plan, there will now be a six week 'judicial review' period where parties wishing to challenge the process may do so.”

The council is within only a third of local authorities nationwide to have a Local Plan declared sound which complies with the National Planning Policy Framework.

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