Shropshire Star

Council says dispute over 3,000 homes development near Tong should not be settled in the courts

A council and major landowner could be squaring up for a battle in the courts over the future of plans for nearly 3,000 homes on green belt land.

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Shropshire Council says the dispute should be settled in the local plan examination not the courts

Shropshire Council and the Bradford Estates, which manages around 12,000 acres of land on Shropshire and Staffordshire borders, are in dispute over the authority's local plan process.

The dispute centres on the Bradford Estates' desire to build 2,900 homes on land to the north of Junction 3 of the M54, and west of the village of Tong.

The development, which has had several names and is currently called 'Weston', would also include an 80-hectare Midlands Tech Park.

The site was not included in Shropshire Council's local plan, meaning it would not be able to go ahead, but solicitors acting for the Bradford Estates have challenged the council over the move, threatening to launch a Judicial Review and arguing the council's failure to look at extra development sites as part of the process is 'unlawful'.

The planning inspectors had also raised 'soundness concerns' over the council's position regarding the issue.

The council has now responded to the Bradford Estates, describing the threat as "an abuse of the examination process", arguing that the "appropriate forum" to discuss the issues is in the ongoing examination of the local plan.

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