Telford village paper mill homes plan to be reconsidered

Plans to build 21 houses on the site of a former paper mill in a village near Telford will come back before councillors next week, nearly two months after they were deferred for investigations into ground contamination and pedestrian access.

Fletcher Homes Shropshire Ltd was granted outline planning permission on appeal three years ago, and this year applied for consent to start building on the three-acre site off Mill Lane, Tibberton.

Telford and Wrekin’s planning committee voted to defer its decision after hearing the ground might be contaminated by its industrial past and receiving conflicting reports about who owns a grass verge, where a footpath is to be built.

Local authority officers recommend members in favour when they meet on Wednesday, September 25, and, in a new report, aim to reassure councillors the footpath plan is “deliverable” as the verge is council-owned and that further checks on the quality of the soil will be carried out after they vote.

At the previous meeting Tibberton and Cherrington Parish Council chairman Jim Berry said a “deep survey” of the Mill Lane site was needed.

He said: “It’s known that chlorine, in printing, creates toxins.”

A report for that meeting also admitted “matters relating to land ownership to include verges and additional land along Mill Lane are disputed between residents and developers.”


Councillor Stephen Burrell, whose Edgmond and Ercall Magna ward incorporates Tibberton, said: “The applicant will tell you they are confident the pedestrian safety scheme can be delivered.

“They haven’t been able to provide so much as a sketch showing how they could provide a footpath up Mill Lane.”

An updated report for the re-convened meeting says: “Highways officers consider that the verge required to deliver the pedestrian refuse falls as part of the adopted highway and as such is deliverable.

“No information has been received contrary to this view.

“In respect of members' queries regarding the proposed pedestrian refuse, it remains that the pedestrian safety scheme was conditioned on the outline appeal decision and as such, this should not be considered as part of this reserved matters application.”

Regarding possible contamination, it says Fletcher Homes have provided an updated report and “an assessment of the impact upon ground and surface waters is required, amongst other items, prior to the commencement of development.”

The report also reminds the committee that this will be dealt with post-approval, and should not influence their decision.

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