Shropshire Star

M54 housing development plan will include 'full range of sustainable transport options', says boss

The leading light behind a controversial development proposed near Tong has responded to a report claiming garden villages could become "car-dependent commuter estates".

Viscount Alexander Newport

The managing director of the Bradford Estates claims the report, conducted by Transport for New Homes, is a warning of what can happen when developments are "not done well".

Viscount Alexander Newport said "well planned, well designed and well delivered" garden communities will play a vital role in driving economic growth and supporting a green recovery.

This comes after the campaign group Shifnal Matters highlighted the environmental group's report, which found the 20 garden communities it assessed would result in up to 200,000 households dependent on driving.

Lord Newport wants to build up to 3,000 houses and 50 hectares of business land on green belt to the west of the A41, near the village of Tong, in a development he refers to as 'J3'.

“This is not just about delivering jobs and homes together in the same place – it's about building places that people are happy to call home," he said.

“Within J3, we are clear it should include a full range of sustainable transport options from the outset that support economic prosperity and the wellbeing of residents, such as public transport, walking, and cycling.

“These will not only serve J3 but will also benefit the wider local area too. We at Bradford Estates will have long-term management of the scheme and are fully committed to making this happen. Indeed, the council can ensure that these commitments are fully honoured by imposing binding planning controls on the scheme.”

The development aims to provide 3,000 sustainably developed homes and generate 8,000 jobs.

Earlier this year Bradford Estates commissioned a report by global consultancy and world leading experts in responsible and sustainable development, WSP, to analyse the J3 project and make recommendations to achieve the goal of achieving net zero carbon status.

A sketch of what the development in Tong could look like

It estimated about half of car-bound peak-hour trips could be eliminated because of the close nature of homes to schools and places of work alone.

Lord Newport added: “To achieve this requires a strong infrastructure, such as providing said schools, employment opportunities, doctor’s surgeries and retail, all of which we have accounted for in our development.

"The J3 site is an ideal area for this kind of development because it can provide the needed infrastructure, and much of which will be delivered in the first phase.

“There will be the creation of strategic bus routes and the proximity to transport links such as Cosford Railway Station, a little more than one mile away, to provide a convenient environmentally friendly option for anyone who does need to travel outside of the area.

“We are also prepared to invest some £40 million to achieve this through solar photovoltaic panels to power buildings and homes, as well as battery charging points that facilitate the inevitable universal adoption of electric cars, buses and other green vehicles.”

The Bradford Estates has also promised 10 miles of cycle and walking routes, as well as opening up 520 acres of private land which will be converted into country and woodland parks, open green spaces and outdoor sports facilities.

“J3 will truly be a remarkable modern community to live and work in, which will be an example to areas up and down the country,” added Lord Newport.