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Revealed: Series of 'interlinked garden villages' could be built in Shropshire

By Dominic Robertson | Shifnal | News | Published:

Consultants are investigating plans that could see widespread housing built in a series of ‘interlinked garden villages’.

‘Protected’ – St Bartholomew’s Church

The land being considered is owned by the Bradford Estates, around the village of Tong, and close to the M54 corridor.

The estates cover 12,000 acres in Shropshire and Staffordshire. The plan is looking at area covering about 1,600 acres.

Steve Carey, a spokesman for planning consultants acting for the Bradford Estates, today said the idea is at an “early stage” and as yet there are no development proposals.

Heritage and landscape assessments related to the idea have already been commissioned, but Mr Carey said the development would respect the rural nature of the area and would not adversely impact landmarks including Tong’s St Bartholomew’s Church and Weston Park to the north of the village.

The news comes as Shropshire Council looks to find space for thousands of new homes in the county as part of its updated local development plan.

Mr Carey said: “The need for new homes in Shropshire is undeniable, and government targets are placing increasing demands on councils across the country.

“Within the M54 corridor new development is likely to be located near existing junctions and the Bradford Estates land has been identified as a potential development site.

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"There are no current development proposals as we are at such an early stage.

"However, there is the potential to create a series of interlinked garden villages which a team of specialist consultants is now investigating.”

Mr Carey said that local rumours in Tong about plans to start gravel extraction soon were not correct.

However, he said that if any plan for the garden villages goes ahead then it may cut down on construction traffic to extract gravel locally.

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Mr Carey said that discussions would be taking place with local residents to update them on the plans.

A meeting organised by Tong Parish Council was last night taking place to discuss the plan.

Mr Carey added that no development would take place that would damage the setting of the estate or Weston Park.

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