Phoenix Mason Investments Ltd applied to build the homes on the site of Doseley Industrial Estate, and Telford & Wrekin’s Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour.
Dawley Hamlets Parish Council member Dave Hopkins accused the Birmingham-based company of “speculative development”, attempting to drive the remaining businesses from the Frame Lane site and sell the land on with residential planning consent attached for a “very significant profit”.
Planning agent Robin Hooper, representing the applicant, denied this, saying it would help the businesses move and find “more modern and appropriate premises”, and said nearby residents would benefit from the departure of “the noisy and smelly businesses that exist there now”.
A report by Telford & Wrekin Council officers noted that 12 of the planned homes would be designated as affordable housing and recommended the committee approve the plans, but acknowledged that 19 objections had been received.
Councillor Hopkins pointed out that one of these came from “one of the four businesses who are still operating there and would like to continue”.
The message, from portable cabin hire company White Line Telford Ltd, said: “Giving this application the go-ahead is likely to result in local job losses.”
Councillor Hopkins said: “This is a speculative development and it would appear the developers have done what they can to achieve the removal of businesses from the site.
“Phoenix Mason Investments know that, if they can acquire this industrial usage land and sell it as land for building houses on, they will make a very significant profit.
“The businesses and small commercial enterprises that are and were there are an inconvenience for them.
“If you agree to this application, you are destroying an opportunity now and in the future for businesses and jobs locally.”
He added that nearby roads were “essentially rural lanes”, and “another 48 houses using these roads, combined with the loss of an established area of local employment, is a bad move”.
Mr Hooper said the industrial site “causes a nuisance to residents by way of noise, smell and heavy goods vehicles entering and leaving”.
He added: “The site offers the opportunity to relocate the noisy and smelly businesses that exist there now, thereby removing the nuisance to residents in the area. It will also result in the lorries that visit the area not doing so, hence a highway improvement.”
He said his client “has a track record of working with employers on sites where developments are undertaken” and “has been working with occupiers and former occupiers at the industrial units to help them find alternative locations”.
Mr Hooper said this showed “it is not a speculative development”, and council Planning Manager Andrew Gittins said the council would also “put every effort into relocating the businesses”.