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Fears for Oswestry hill fort as map earmarks homes

Oswestry | News | Published:

Fears that plans for homes at the foot of an ancient hill fort in Oswestry could ruin its historic setting have spurred residents into action and talks have been held to try and protect it.

Fears that plans for homes at the foot of an ancient hill fort in Oswestry could ruin its historic setting have spurred residents into action and talks have been held to try and protect it.

Members of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Oswestry Civic Society and OPHAG – an archaeological and historic group in the town – were holding a private meeting today, to discuss fighting the plans.

Shropshire Council's SAMDev development plan which outlines potential housing sites suggests 80 new homes off Gobowen Road and 25 at Oldport Farm on Gobowen Road.

Brian Gresham, a member of the civic society, said: "It is a most noticeable historic site and to have a housing estates built within in yards we think is a concern.

"We are having a small private meeting so we can co-ordinate our opposition to this. We have already put in our representations.

"This site is enormously valuable. To build housing up to the edge of it will destroy the view of the top and all around."

The hill fort, one of the largest in Europe, is said by some to be the birthplace of Guinevere the wife of King Arthur.

Saffron Rainey, chairman of the civic society, said the group believed it was a 'grave mistake' to include the area in the SAMDev report.

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He said the hill fort was part of Oswestry's heritage and a valuable ancient monument comparable to Maiden Castle.

"If you look at Maiden Castle in Dorset you wouldn't dream of building within half a mile of it," he said.

Councillor Mal Price, cabinet member for planning, said: "We appreciate there will be lots of different views about these proposals, and we would encourage people to fill in the questionnaire for their area on the website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/ samdev

"You can also call the customer service centre on 0345 678 9000 or visit your local library if you don't have internet access at home. The consultation has been extended to 20 July, so there is still plenty of time."

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