Lovell Partnerships Ltd had applied to build 229 houses, four flats, a care home, a supported accommodation complex and a community hub in Donnington Wood, west of Granville Country Park.
Muxton councillor Adrian Lawrence spoke against the plans, saying residents feared the development’s size would place a burden on local facilities, but added that many people believed the application had been “pre-determined” because the access onto Donnington Wood Way was already built.
Council officers explained that that junction was built with unrelated funding. Telford & Wrekin Council’s planning committee voted by a majority to approve the plans.
Blueprints produced by Lovell show the 36-acre site will be divided into two sections, separated by four acres of open land connecting to Granville Country Park.
The northern section will consist of 77 open market houses, while the southern section will feature 18 specialist homes, 40 general use homes and four apartments to be let out by Nuplace, Telford & Wrekin Council’s wholly-owned housing provider, with 90 further affordable rent homes and the 20-space supported living complex and 76-unit extra care facility provided by the Wrekin Housing Group.
WHG Development director Simon Thompson said: “We want to help people stay in their homes for as long as possible, and, even if people in the area can’t stay in a particular house because their needs change, the different types of housing will allow them to stay in the area but move to a type that suits them."
He said the community hub would feature a restaurant and cafe, and computer lounge and halls available for hire.
“There will be a new play area, green ways, footpaths will all be enhanced to improve the connectivity between Granville Country Park and Donnington Wood Way,” Mr Thompson said.
“We are really excited about this development. We feel it has got the community at its heart and will really make a difference in people’s lives.
Councillor Lawrence said: “It’s understood by residents that there always will be some development here, because it’s always been in the development plan, so there’s not resistance totally to any form of development.
“Residents are upset, or miffed, if you want, by the access development.
“I understand the access is being built independently and separately, grant-funded, from this application, but the problem is it’s a big access point with traffic lights and it gives the serious perception to residents that this application is going to go ahead.
“Residents constantly say to me ‘this is pre-determined, you’ve already built that’.
“Aside from that, what would be supportable would be a smaller-scale development with a lot less properties.”
He said the Donnington and Muxton Development Plan, developed by the parish council and intended to influence homebuilding until 2031, calls for “small in-fill developments” with an emphasis on retirement bungalows.
“There is no provision for that in this application so residents would ask, if you are unable to reject this application, to scale it down more in keeping with their aspirations,” Councillor Lawrence said.
The committee voted 4-0, with two abstentions, to approve the application, as recommended by planning officers.