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Campaigners rebuff consultation claims over M54 Tong homes plan

By Rory Smith | Shifnal | News | Published:

A campaign group has strongly rejected suggestions that consultation between land owners and residents has taken place in relation to large-scale development near Tong.

This comes after Curtin & Co said it held multiple discussions with representatives of Shifnal Matters over proposals that could see an extra 3,000 homes and 50 hectares of employment land built off junction three of the M54.

But Shifnal Matters said no such meetings have ever taken place.

Matthew Fennel-Fox, of the campaign group, said: "Shifnal Matters has never met in any manner with anyone representing Curtin & Co and never intend to do so.

"We strongly refute suggestions that we have engaged in any form. Curtin & Co has never even gone as far as to request a meeting with Shifnal Matters, nor have they knocked on the door of a Shifnal Matters committee member."

Steve Carey, director of Curtin & Co, said the company stands by its previous statements.

"We have made efforts to discuss things with both Shifnal Matters and Tong Parish Council," he said.

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"We've had meetings with the chair and vice chair of Tong Parish Council on a number of occasions, including in January 2017, November 2017 and January 2018 for example.

"We also attended a Shifnal public meeting to hear what people have to say in March, and most recently, we have had correspondence with Shifnal Matters about trying to arrange a meeting which was set for April 17 before it had to be cancelled at the last minute."

Working on behalf of Bradford Estates, the consultancy company also told the Shropshire Star it has spoken to a number of residents through door-to-door canvassing in support of Shropshire Council's Local Plan consultation.

Mr Fennel-Fox added: "We further refute the suggestions that Curtin & Co are 'supporting and contributing' to the Shropshire Local Plan Strategic Sites consultation process.

"Shifnal Matters recently received an email from Adrian Cooper, Shropshire Council planning policy and strategy manager, stating: 'Curtin & Co had advised us that they would start to canvas views regarding local infrastructure needs in Shifnal. While we have not asked them to do this, they are at liberty to do so if they choose to in order to collect information to help support their proposal.'"

Mr Carey added: "The council is currently running its consultation which we are engaged with. The council has asked for information which we are helping to provide."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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