20,000 homes plan for Telford sparks fears over historic cottages
Residents fear that two historic cottages built by the Duke of Sutherland could be lost under proposals to build 20,000 new homes in Telford and Wrekin over the next 18 years.
The Wellington Road Action Group in Muxton is concerned that Greengables and Walnut Tree Cottage could be demolished if proposed revisions to the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan are adopted.
The group is calling for residents to attend a public consultation exhibition, organised by Telford & Wrekin Council, on Tuesday.
The plan, which sets out land use policy in the borough, is being revised to provide a projected 20,200 new homes that will be needed in the area by 2041.
But the group is furious that the grounds of the two cottages have been identified for inclusion in the plans.
A draft revised plan, which has now gone out for consultation, has identified 'land to the north of Walnut Tree Cottage' and 'to the north of Greengables' as suitable for development.
A larger plot of land, extending up to A518 has also been included in the draft, and Wellington Road resident Richard Green fears that the cottages will be demolished to provide an access road to the site.
"We can't afford to lose these cottages, which date back 120 years," said Mr Green.
"There aren't many old buildings in Telford, and Walnut Tree Cottage is particularly beautiful."
He said the cottages were both occupied and in good order.
Mr Green said the group had raised the matter with Mark Pritchard MP, who had agreed to meet members in the new year.
The buildings are not listed as being of historic importance, but fellow group member Roger France said Historic England was considering a request to put a preservation order on them.
Mr Green said he was also concerned about the dangers of construction traffic along the Wellington Road, which has a 7.5-ton weight limit.
A plan to demolish Greengables was rejected in 2018 on the grounds that the existing development plan did not identify the area as suitable for significant housing development.
Shropshire Homes applied to build 85 homes on land behind the cottage, which would have been demolished to provide access.
Mr Green said the group was not, at this stage, objecting to plans to develop the site next to the A518 bypass.
But Mr France warned that if the houses were not removed from the proposals, it would be a case of 'gloves off'.
The public consultation event will be at St John's Church in Muxton on Tuesday( from 4.30pm to 8pm, and people can call in at any time.