Council looking at flooding evidence
"Wider evidence' is being examined before Shropshire Council decides whether to push ahead with plans for hundreds of new homes, amid concerns the site is a flood risk.
The council has set aside large areas of Shifnal for development in its local plan review, with proposals which – if approved – would see hundreds of homes and large commercial sites planned for the south east of the town.
The proposals are yet to be approved by the council, which is evaluating responses to a consultation on the issue.
Local campaign group Shifnal Matters, which is opposed to the plans for the town, has raised concerns that one of the areas earmarked for development is affected by flooding, and would be unsuitable for housing, or business premises.
Now Shropshire Council has confirmed it is looking at evidence on the issue, and also said there had been a "significant level of response" to the consultation.
Gemma Davies, Shropshire Council’s assistant director – economic growth, said: “As part of the council’s emerging review of the local plan, between November 2018 and February 2019 a range of preferred development options were subject to public consultation.
"This was informed by a detailed site assessment process. In Shifnal, it was proposed that land to the south west of the town at Lodge Hill would be safeguarded for potential development beyond 2036.
"It is recognised there was a significant level of response to this consultation and Shropshire Council is continuing to consider all the responses to this consultation as well as wider evidence, including on flood risk, and will be consulting again on a full draft version of the local plan in Spring 2020. Following this the plan will also be subject to independent examination by the Planning Inspectorate.”
Earlier this month a spokesman for Shifnal Matters outlined their concerns, saying: "Lodge Hill in Shifnal is one of the areas most affected by flooding particularly in the last weekend of October due to heavy rainfall, and is again partially under water this week, following heavy rain over the last few days.
"The fields around the entrance to Lodge Hill form a natural attenuation area for flood water, however in the October event water flowed off this area and into the gardens of properties just to the north.
"However, that’s not stopping Shropshire Council attempting to safeguard the land around Lodge Hill for up to 1,823 houses as part of the local plan, despite being aware of the risk.
"Shifnal Matters asks is land under 50-60cm of water every time there is heavy rain an ideal location for a housing estate?"