Controversial plan for more than 3,000 green belt homes set to go before council

Councillors will be asked to agree the final version of Shropshire Council's controversial local plan for submission.

Shropshire Council will be asked to approve the plan next week.
Shropshire Council will be asked to approve the plan next week.

The local plan sets out where thousands of homes and businesses can be built in every town across the county up until 2038.

The proposals have generated significant controversy and criticism, with major campaigns from residents in both Shifnal and Bridgnorth who have raised concerns over the scale of development.

The plans have also received criticism from the other side with landowners behind major developments which have been rejected – such as proposal for 3,000 homes on green belt land to the West of Tong – calling for a re-think.

The document will go before Full Council on Thursday, and if approved will then be sent to the government for independent examination.

The examination process is likely to last around a year, and subject to the outcome of this process the council will be asked to be adopt the plan – the final stage – in mid 2022.

During the examination process an independent planning inspector will look at and consider consultation responses received.

Councillor Ed Potter, portfolio holder for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said: “I am delighted to be asking full council to approve the submission of the Local Plan to the Secretary of State.

“It is a document which has been rigorously consulted on and we have listened to people’s concerns and acted upon them.

“We believe this is a robust and positive planning document which will help us create a plan-led vision for future development for the county.”

The council began preparing the Local Plan Review as far back as 2017.

Between then and 2020 the Local Plan has been subject to five separate consultations.

More than 2,500 responses were received to the final consultation alone, with more than 10,000 in total across the period.

The draft Plan proposes to deliver around 30,800 dwellings over the plan period from 2016 to 2038.

It equates to around 1,400 dwellings per year, and includes 7,700 affordable houses – around 25 per cent of all dwellings built.

The draft Plan also proposes to deliver around 300 hectares of employment land.

Councillor Potter added: “At its core, the Local Plan is about ensuring that the development that will take place in the county over the coming years remains plan-led.

“Its role is to translate the high level definitions of sustainable development into a local context and to develop a strategy appropriate to the area.

“In doing so it should be remembered that achieving sustainable development involves a balance of considerations across social, economic and environmental issues.”

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