'Overdevelopment' concern over Telford houses plan

Three new houses could be built on the site of a single bungalow, if plans are approved, but some town councillors believe the project would “overdevelop” the site.

Stock photo
Stock photo

Moorwell Homes Ltd has applied to build the detached homes and garages where a bungalow, in Arleston Village, Telford, currently stands.

A majority of Wellington Town Council’s Planning Committee had no objection, but two members dissented, raising concerns about drainage, the narrow access road and “the character and nature of the area”.

Outline planning permission has been granted by Telford and Wrekin Council on four occasions, most recently to David Nicholls last January, and the authority is now set to decide about Moorwell's full application.

A design statement, submitted by planning agent Andy Carr of CadTech Design, said: “The dwellings will present excellent green credentials through the use of modern methods of construction, while respecting the local vernacular, the street scene and the privacy and amenity of neighbouring properties.

“Renewable energy sources will be used where possible, with solar panels and air source heat pumps currently favoured.”

Minutes of the town council planning committee meeting said members voted not to object after a “wide-ranging discussion”, but Conservative Ercall councillor Dorothy Roberts and Liberal Democrat Stephen DeLauney, who represents Shawbirch, were concerned the narrow, unadopted road that serves the site “was dangerous due to its existing condition” and unsuitable as a driveway for three new homes.

“There were also concerns regarding the scope of the development that would change the character and nature of the area, which potentially would lead to an overdevelopment,” the report adds.

“It was further noted that this area as a local village, which should benefit from further protection as a conservation area [sic].

“It was also stated that there were also existing drainage issues, which had been increased as a result of the neighbouring development.”

In January 2020, Countryside Properties Ltd was granted planning permission to build a 70-flat extra care facility and 103 houses on 18 acres of land bounded by Dawley Road, the M54 and Arleston Lane, forming a U-shape around the south end of Arleston Village.

As chairman Giles Luter presented the Planning Committee minutes to a full session of the town council, Ercall Councillor Miles Hosken said he thought the reference to conservation area status was “hypocritical”.

The Conservative member added: “I think it’s absolutely diabolical. When you think that the village of Arleston was in the Domesday Book, why wait until 2021 to make remarks that it is going to be put, or should be suggested to be put, in a conservation area?

“In my view the public of Wellington ought to know of the grand village that it was. It’s not so grand now.”

Labour member Councillor Luter, who represents the Arleston ward, said the committee’s decision was made based on planning law, but Councillor DeLauney’s and Councillor Roberts’s objections were summarised in the document.

Councillor Hosken thanked that pair for their input into the otherwise “sad” meeting, and said he disagreed with the committee’s eventual decision.

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