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Judicial review bid launched challenging Shropshire medical centre and homes plan

By Lisa O'Brien | Whitchurch | Health | Published:

Campaigners have launched a bid for a judicial review over plans for a new medical centre, 71 apartments and a community room in Whitchurch.

Pauls Moss in Whitchurch. Photo: Google StreetView

Shropshire Council's northern planning committee approved the proposal to redevelop the Pauls Moss area of the town in October.

It came after members rejected the original plan in order to retain Pauls Moss House which was at risk of being demolished.

Wrekin Housing Trust returned with a fresh application proposing to retain the historic mansion and convert it into a cafe and community hub.

But campaigners are still unhappy with these plans and Paula Fraser, from the Save Pauls Moss group, has applied for a judicial review into the process and decisions made.

She says she wants the planning permission to be quashed and suggests the plans should be redesigned to be more sensitive to the area, with more open green space.

A judge will have to consider the application and make a decision as to whether it will be taken forward to a full hearing.

Ms Fraser said: "Shropshire Council have granted permission for a development which contains far less open space than their planning policy requires, with the justification that the intended residents are elderly and/or in need of care and therefore won't need the same space provision as those who don't share these characteristics.

'Unfair'

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"This approach to policy is not only unfair, but also unlawful discrimination contrary to the Equality Act (EA) 2010.

"Furthermore, Shropshire Council is bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty and has failed to have due regard to its duty under section 149 of the EA to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity.

"These issues form the main grounds for my application for judicial review."

In a statement in response to the judicial review application being lodged, Wrekin Housing Trust said: "We were shocked to hear that a judicial review had been brought against this exciting project.

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"The scheme, that retains the existing house, promises to deliver much-needed health and medical facilities for Whitchurch.

"We will await the outcome of the review before commenting further."

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary confirmed the application has been received and said permission is yet to be considered.

Shropshire Council said it could not comment while the judicial review process is underway.

In October, when the plans were passed, there were still some concerns regarding the lack of on-site parking but the need for a new medical centre was also raised by councillors.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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