Shropshire MP vows to fight 10,000 homes plans if they 'adversely affect' constituents
Shropshire MP Mark Pritchard says he will fight plans to build 10,000 homes on greenbelt land "if they adversely affect the quality of life" for his constituents.
Mr Pritchard, Conservative MP for the Wrekin, made the comments in response to the news that Bradford Estates have submitted a proposal to Shropshire Council, suggesting the idea of building interlinked garden villages on land around Tong, near the M54.
The MP said that although the plans were at an early stage he would campaign against anything that had a negative effect on people living in the area, particularly in Tong.
He said: "Garden villages in principle are fine, but they need to be sited in the right, not wrong location.
"These plans are at an early stage but I would fight any plans that would adversely affect the quality of life, visual amenity, environment and local roads experience of my constituents, especially the residents of beautiful Tong."
His comments come after it was revealed that Shropshire Council is currently studying a 157-page document on the proposal, which was submitted by Bradford Estates as part of the authority's local plan review.
The proposal centres on 670 hectares of land owned by Bradford Estates, owned by the Bridgeman family, which includes 12,000 acres of land in Shropshire and Staffordshire.
Alexander Bridgeman, Viscount Newport, is the managing director of Bradford Estates.
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Shropshire Council has confirmed that the total number of homes suggested in the proposal could come to 10,000, but that the initial amount would be 2,000, increasing over a ten-year period.
A statement from Steve Carey on behalf of Bradford Estates, said the plan was at an early stage.
He said: "Shropshire Council, in preparing its draft local plan, recognised the development potential offered along the M54 corridor. The need for new homes in Shropshire is undeniable, and government targets are placing increasing demands on councils across the country.
"Within the M54 corridor new development is likely to be located near existing junctions and the Bradford Estates land has been identified as a potential development site.
"There are no current development proposals as we are at such an early stage. However, there is the potential to create a series of interlinked garden villages which a team of specialist consultants is now investigating."
A number of villagers in Tong have reacted to the news by setting up an action group opposed to the plans
At a public meeting on Monday, local resident Mark Weston said: “This could mean an extra 30,000 cars. That would be similar to having V Festival every day in Tong. The people of Tong do not want this.”
The suggestion comes as Shropshire Council is carrying out its Shropshire local plan review, which sets out that 28,750 houses will be required before 2036.
Currently 18,583 have been allocated leaving another 10,347 to be found.
Mr Carey said that the plan would include land for parks, and would also protect Weston Park and St Bartholomew's Church in Tong.
He said: "Bradford Estates owns around 670 hectares of land which is being assessed for its suitability for development by Shropshire Council as part of the local plan process.
"However, not all of this land will be suitable for development as any proposals would have to balance the need for development locally with protecting the setting of local Weston Park, other listed buildings and areas of interest.
"In addition, if the site were to be included in Shropshire’s local plan, there would be a significant amount of land given over to parks, public open spaces and woodlands in support of the garden village principles."