Clive Barracks key in Shropshire homes masterplan
Clive Barracks, near Market Drayton, could play a key part in a multi-million pound masterplan for hundreds of new homes and jobs across Shropshire.
The barracks, the home of the Royal Irish Regiment, is expected to be empty by 2025 and there are fears the exodus of army families will leave schools, shops and other services struggling.
Now Shropshire Council planners want to create a masterplan for the 50 hectares of land on the A41 to bring new jobs and families to the area, including plans for up to 700 homes.
The council’s cabinet will meet next week to decide whether to look in more detail at the Clive Barracks site at Tern Hill as part of its local plan review into strategic development sites. The cabinet will also look at whether to look in greater depth at proposals for about 3,000 homes on greenbelt land off junction three of the M54 near Tong and 1,000 homes and employment land on the site of the former Ironbridge Power Station.
Council officers say the sites could provide a significant, postive growth opportunity for Shropshire.
The Ministry of Defence announced it would pull out of Clive Barracks in 2016 and has recently confirmed that it plans to complete the vacation and dispose of the site by 2025. The MOD and its consultants have been working closely with local councils, the local community and other stakeholders as part of a task force led by north Shropshire MP, Owen Paterson over the last two to three years.
Adrian Cooper, Shropshire Council’s planning policy manager, said the site was in an excellent position, next to the A41 and with an airfield next door.
It was also close to junction 15 of the M6, he said. “It therefore has potential to benefit from improved connectivity from the new, HS2 link and Crewe hub station.”
Mr Cooper said there was concern that when the army pulled out, it would have a severe effect on the local community.
“The impact on the local school would be particularly hard as the classes are full of children from the barracks,” he added.
“We need to look at how we can regenerate that area and I know that a task force, led by Owen Paterson, has been doing just that.”
He said the MOD was also collecting information on various issues on the site.
“This engagement will help MOD and its consultants to prepare a draft masterplan for a mixed-use scheme which would provide employment land and around 700 homes as part of a new settlement.”
Shropshire Cabinet will meet next Wednesday when it will look at the three strategic development sites.