Housing is ‘destroying’ Shifnal and Tong greenbelt
A campaign group says plans by Shropshire Council to build thousands of houses will “destroy” greenbelt land.
Shifnal Matters is fighting plans by the authority to develop land around the town and the village of Tong.
Zoe Turner, from the group, said the plans will have an “adverse effect” not only on Tong, which has 250 residents, but also Shifnal.
She said it will increase traffic travelling down Stanton Road.
The plans would see up to 3,000 homes built in that area and 100 hectares of employment land between the two places.
She said: “Not only will it destroy local green belt land and detract from the historic towns of Shifnal and Tong, but Tong’s suggested development isn’t even for Shropshire residents or to cover their needs and are based on targets from West Midlands Combined Authority.
She added: “The true extent of the Shropshire council plans to use green belt around Shifnal has now become clear with the publication of the council’s “strategic development” plan.
“As well as the earlier announcement of massive housing and trading estates adjoining Shifnal they now propose a further 3,000 houses and another 80 football pitches of industrial development.
“We have had to estimate the exact placement of these new developments because Shropshire council ‘forgot’ to include a map.
“These developments would dwarf the existing settlements of Shifnal and Tong, and place an unbelievable traffic load on the local roads.
“The distance between Shifnal and Tong would also be reduced from 2.3 miles to 0.8 miles.
“The most incredible part of these plans is that it is supposed to help West Midlands Combined Authority who claim not to have enough land for their housing and industry.
“This is despite a recent calculation that shows they have enough land for 47 years at the rate they have recently been building.”
The consultation on the council plans has closed.
Last month, Shropshire Council’s cabinet agreed to begin the next stage of talks into the plans.
It signed off a move which will see council officers speak to neighbouring authorities about the plans, including the Black Country.
The council says it needs to build to attract businesses to the county, meet the growing housing need and keep good, talented youngsters in the area.