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Plan for 50 homes near Wem level crossing is thrown out

North Shropshire | News | Published:

Plans to build 50 homes near Wem level crossing have been thrown out by a Government planning inspector following an appeal.

Ian Radcliffe ruled the proposal for land between Aston Road and Church Lane in Wem would not fit in with the development plan and would not be sustainable.

It follows concerns about the effect on the rural setting of the town and the impact of having homes built close to a level crossing.

The applicants launched the appeal in a bid to overturn Shropshire Council's decision to refuse the scheme.

The plans were initially given permission at a meeting of the council's north planning committee, subject to planning conditions.

But after changes to Shropshire Council's development plan, which is also known as SAMDev, the scheme was turned down.

Mr Radcliffe said: "The proposal would not accord with the development plan as a whole. I therefore find that the proposal cannot be considered to be a sustainable development.

"The loss of the open undeveloped nature of the field to built development would have a significant adverse effect on the character and appearance of the countryside, landscape and the rural setting of Wem."

"The location of a significant number of new houses on this side of the railway line would not improve the way that the town functions. This is a consideration that counts against the development."

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The applicants, a consortium of developers, insisted the homes would bring economic benefits to the town.

But Wem Train Station Safer Group objected to the plans after fearing the impact it would have on the town's level crossing, which has been the subject of signal and equipment faults in recent times.

More than 100 letters of objection and a 78-signature petition were received by Shropshire Council.

Residents and councillors raised concerns that the area will not be able to accommodate extra traffic, that the development is "out of place", and could increase the risk of flooding.

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