Shifnal campaign group urges new Shropshire Council leader to 'rethink' controversial development plans

Campaigners have urged the new leader of Shropshire Council to reconsider large scale development proposals outlined in a controversial planning document.

Members of Shifnal Matters
Members of Shifnal Matters

Shifnal Matters said the time spent in lockdown throughout the coronavirus pandemic has shown the "importance" of green spaces, and asked newly-elected leader Councillor Lezley Picton to "rethink" the Local Plan Review.

The planning policy sets out where housing and business land can be built throughout Shropshire up until 2038.

It includes large-scale proposals to build 1,500 homes and a business site of at least 41 hectares in Shifnal.

Further proposals include releasing land from the green belt around Shifnal for business sites and potential development after 2038.

Shifnal Matters formed to fight the plans and has been vocal in its objections since they were released in 2018.


Shifnal Matters spokesman Tony Jemmett said: "We need those in power to be taking climate change and zero carbon seriously.

"Destroying huge swathes of countryside to be replaced by unaffordable and unwanted homes is not the way.

"If the last 12 months have taught us anything it's the importance of local green spaces and access to the countryside for the good of our physical and mental wellbeing.

"Shropshire needs to take a brownfield first approach as championed by the government and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.

"Shifnal Matters feels that the successor to Peter Nutting should take notice of local residents' concerns as future local and national elections are where communities fighting development can and will have their voice.

"In this election we have promoted 'vote person not party' as councillors are elected by their local community to fight for residents' concerns, not political gain."

The campaign group, which formed in November 2018 to fight proposals for Shifnal outlined in the Local Plan Review, has three members on Shifnal Town Council following the local elections earlier this month.

The calls for a rethink come as Councillor Picton secured her place as Shropshire Council's first female leader, winning the support of her Conservative colleagues at a meeting on Monday.

Beating acting leader Steve Charmley, who is now deputy leader, Councillor Picton replaces former leader Peter Nutting – who suffered a shock defeat and was voted out in this month's local elections.

Councillor Picton has been contacted for comment.

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