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Dismay as ‘overspill’ housing not ruled out for Telford

By Sophie Madden | Telford | Politics | Published:

Telford's opposition leader has said he is "disappointed" with proposals for the borough to provide "overspill" housing for the Black Country, saying it could lead to it becoming a dormitory town.

Andrew Eade

Updates to the Telford & Wrekin Council local plan are now out for consultation, which reveal that the borough has not ruled out the need for it to provide housing for neighbouring authorities.

It also reveals the need to build 17,280 homes by 2031, bringing its population to 202,000.

Changes to the document also reveal that the plan has also identified sufficient land to provide the delivery of only 14,950 of these homes.

Councillor Andrew Eade, the leader of Telford's opposition Conservative party, says the important thing for the borough, is that infrastructure is in place ahead of the building.

Councillor Eade said: "The number of additional housing earmarked in the local plan is up to the inspector. The important thing for Telford is that the infrastructure is already in place. I don't actually think we need any more housing and we need to protect the rural areas.

"I am very disappointed that we still maintain that we should be provide a overspill homes for the Black Country and Birmingham.

"The problem is that Telford will become a dormitory town leading to people commuting for work and increasing the amount of traffic on the roads."

Telford & Wrekin Council has previously denied any decision had been made over building houses that could act as overspill for families from the West Midlands.

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The authority was ordered to review several aspects of its future plan for the town after a government inspector warned the selection of housing sites was “flawed”.

Among the main changes are an undertaking that the council will hold talks with the four neighbouring Black Country councils and Birmingham regarding housing land if the need arises.

At the time, it received criticism from planning lawyers, who now say that authorities will need to talk to each other about future housing need.

David Brammer, of Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, said: "This is a national issue. The Government needs more houses and councils are expected to deliver those houses due to demographics and society's needs. We are going to need more homes.

"Councils are finding it more difficult to find the amount of homes. This local plan is only a part of that picture. Shropshire is neighbouring Telford and the two councils may also need to to be talking to each other about housing needs. The Government has got a lot on its plate at the moment and one thing that it wanted to do was to revise the national policy framework and councils which are part of the equation would like those revisions to be done sooner rather than later.

"We need the right sort of developments in the right places."

Sophie Madden

By Sophie Madden
@SMadden_Star

Senior reporter based out of the head office in Ketley covering the Telford area.

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