Keon Homes Ltd applied to build the two and three-bedroom homes south of Newcomen Way, at Woodside in Telford, and Telford and Wrekin Council has given the green light.
Outline permission was granted last January, and included a commitment to designate a quarter of the homes as affordable housing, but the full plans increased this allocation to 100 per cent.
The Staffordshire-based company’s planning agent says this “significant benefit” will help meet local housing needs.
Madeley Town Council member Greg Spruce alerted ecology officers to sightings of slow worms on the 10-acre site, and a resulting survey found no specimens but said it was a suitable habitat, and recommended measures to avoid harming the protected reptiles.
A design statement, prepared MHA Architects for Keon Homes, said the Madeley Neighbourhood Plan allocates the site for “approximately 50 dwellings”.
The plans include 29 two-bedroom homes, including six bungalows, and 26 three-bedroom houses on the site, which would be accessed from the north via Newcomen Way.
A planning statement by Helen Howie of Berrys, Keon Homes’s Shrewsbury-based planning agent, said: “The outline consent provides for market housing with 25 per cent affordable housing. The applicant, Keon Homes, proposes to improve on this with a 100 per cent affordable housing scheme with a mix of 80 per cent affordable rent and 20 per cent shared ownership houses.
“The provision of a 100 per cent affordable scheme is a significant benefit to the scheme and will assist the council in delivering good-quality, affordable housing to meet local needs.”
Councillor Spruce, who represents Woodside on Madeley Town Council, reported that a nearby resident had sighted a slow worm on the site, and passed video and pictures of it on to the planning and biodiversity teams.
He requested an ecology survey, adding that there was “reasonable belief” locally that the animals lived there.
Slow worms are protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Ecology officer Mark Turner said there had been “incidental records of reptiles” in the area and that, since outline permission was granted, “the site has ceased to be grazed, making the habitat more suitable to support these species”.
A reptile survey took place in September and October, and found no specimens but agreed the habitat is “broadly suitable”, he said.
It recommended that builders take steps to avoid harming the animals and requested that areas of habitat be provided in the site’s landscaping plan.