Hundreds against greenbelt homes plan on outskirts of Bridgnorth
A campaign group says hundreds of residents have signed up to show overwhelming opposition over plans to build more than 800 new homes in Bridgnorth.
The Save Bridgnorth Green Belt (SGBG) group has been carrying out its own survey about Shropshire Council plans for the town – as it holds two public meetings to outline its feelings over the proposals.
Rebecca Turner, one of the group’s members, has urged Bridgnorth residents to turn out for the next meeting, which takes place tomorrow, (at Castle Hall in the town at 7pm.
Members will give a presentation on what has happened so far, what it plans for the future, and information it has collated about the project.
The plans, which are part of Shropshire Council’s Local Development Plan, include a garden settlement and employment land which could be built over 166 hectares at Stanmore.
The proposal, which outlines building 850 homes on the site, would be developed up until 2036.
A large section of green belt surrounding the site is also being set aside for further development after 2036.
SGBG has handed out its own surveys on the proposals, with responses from 730 people out of around 8,500 sent out so far.
Analysis of the first 600 that have come back show that 98 per cent of people think the town’s “green belt is important and should be protected”.
According to the results, 97 per cent of those responding did not believe the loss of a large section of country park was acceptable to make room for new homes.
Ms Turner urged people to attend the meeting and to fill out the survey.
She said: “I think people deserve to hear both sides of the story and the council have put out their pitch and this is our reply. We just do not think their argument holds water. We do not think they can justify the scale of these plans.
“It looks to us that they have started with the viewpoint that they want a garden village and then tried to justify it. We think if you drill down then the justification is just not there.”
She added: “We also do not feel the council is listening which is why we did our own survey. We want to be the voice of the residents. If people are for or against it we want to hear that view and we will represent it to the council.”
Shropshire Council has defended its plans, and Adrian Cooper, Planning Policy & Strategy Manager, said: "There is no defined design or outcome for the development of Stanmore as yet. A lot more work will be required, including opportunities for local people to contribute, before a detailed masterplan for the scheme can be developed.
"Whilst some of the park is likely to be impacted by development, it is intended that this will be offset by the provision of extensive additional land, investment in better facilities for the Country Park and through better links between the Country Park with the surrounding countryside and Bridgnorth
"It is important to understand that, whilst the current proposals appear dramatic at first sight, they are designed to help Bridgnorth to grow in a planned way for around the next 40 years and it will take a long time before all the areas shown in principle are actually developed."