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Developers' demand putting Shropshire's heritage under great threat, says archaeologist

North Shropshire | News | Published:

An archaeologist wants to see any new housing allocations in Shropshire concentrated on brownfield sites.

Old Oswestry Hillfort

Dr George Nash, who is part of the Hands off Old Oswestry Hillfort group, said the county's heritage was under threat from housing.

He said he does not want to see new housing built on green spaces close to historic sites.

Shropshire Council is carrying out a partial review of its current Local Plan and extend it to cover the period up to 2036.

Under the existing local plan, 27,500 houses will be required between 2006 and 2026.

The review of the plan is asking whether an additional 11,000, 12,000 or 13,000 houses should be built in the Shropshire Council area between now and 2036.

An eight-week consultation into the new plan runs until March 20.

Dr Nash, who lives in Wem and is a research fellow at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol, said he did not believe that Shropshire needed the extra homes.

"I can't accept that in a rural county like Shropshire, and particularly north Shropshire, we need this heavy impetus for building," he said.

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"But if we are going to toe the line then we need affordable housing – housing that people can truly afford and on brownfield

sites.

"Our heritage is under great threat from the too much development put in the wrong place.

"Every settlement, every village should help bear the load of the housing with new homes dispersed over the county rather than centred on the urban areas."

He said that in Oswestry there was particular concern for houses being built too close to the Oswestry Hill Fort and Brogyntyn Hall and its parkland, as well as the remains of Wat's Dyke which runs through the centre of Oswestry and World War One practice trenches at Park Hall.

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