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Landowner ‘hopes to create quality homes’ off M54 site

By Andrew Morris | Shifnal | Property | Published:

Owners of land earmarked for future development off junction three of the M54 at Tong say they hope to bring “high quality jobs and housing” to the region.

Aerial view of Tong

The Bradford Estates said they “welcome” Shropshire Council’s decision to not yet bring the site forward for adoption as a strategic site in its Local Plan.

The authority’s cabinet agreed to put plans for the former Ironbridge Power Station site, Clive Barracks and RAF Cosford out to public consultation from July to September at a meeting on Wednesday.

But the council will not yet seek official views on the site off the M54, saying they need more information on the housing need from the West Midlands before officially adopting it into the plan.

However, people can still send feedback about the site during the consultation which would then form part of an official consultation should it be brought forward.

But David Henry, project manager for the Bradford Estates, said he was happy with the situation.

He said the cabinet’s decision “recognised the strategic location” of the land which is owned by Bradford Estates and the opportunity to create a new hub of economic activity at junction three.

Mr Henry said it “complements the extensive technical work which is currently being undertaken in order to ascertain which mix of uses would best be suited to the location” and would have the “greatest positive impact on Shropshire’s future prosperity”.

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He added: “Over the course of the past 18 months we have spoken to communities throughout the area who have told us that that top priorities are to provide sufficient high-quality jobs and affordable homes to ensure that Shropshire and the surrounding area can flourish. We can provide both.

“But we can also provide so much more. Alongside jobs and homes, the site can provide brand new infrastructure, a host of community facilities and large areas of open space which will be an asset to the county.

“The project is in its very early stages so there are no fixed proposals yet, but we want to work collaboratively with local people to develop something sustainable which everyone can be proud of for generations to come.”

St Bartholomew's Church, Tong

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Mr Henry said his “key principle” has always been to support the county’s future by attracting inward investment through delivering high quality employment space.

He added: “We recognise that its proximity to RAF Cosford, which has plans to expand and which Bradford Estates’ proposals will complement, and its position between T54 and I54 means that this is a special location which deserves the highest standard of development.”

However, Councillor Malcolm Pate, former Shropshire Council leader and member for Albrighton, said the junction three plans were “not welcome”.

He added that he felt it was “hard to believe” the wider West Midlands had run out of brownfield sites to build homes and commercial buildings on.

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.

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