Thousands back outcry on 3,000-home plan off M54

Campaigners fighting plans for a 3,000-home development have handed over thousands of responses to a consultation on the controversial proposal.

Protests have been held in Shifnal
Protests have been held in Shifnal

Representatives from Shifnal Matters presented 2,090 responses to a Shropshire Council consultation on plans from the Bradford Estates to build what would effectively be a new town on land near Tong, off Junction Three of the M54.

The responses were handed over by the group at Shropshire Council's head offices, Shirehall in Shrewsbury, yesterday.

John Moore, a Shifnal Matters member, and a resident of the town, said the volume of responses showed the strength of feeling against the plans.

He said: "The thing that stands out in the responses was people's concern that the size and scale of the development at Junction Three is unreasonable and unnecessary.

Aerial view of Tong

"Our concern is it is unreasonable because the weight of traffic, rail travel and services will fall on the existing communities of Shifnal and Albrighton, and that it is unnecessary because it is meant to fulfil some some unmet need in the West Midlands.

"The need for the Black Country to have someone else provide their housing or commercial property is very difficult to swallow because you only have to drive towards Wolverhampton and there are hosts of sites lying idle or derelict."

The consultation by Shropshire Council is looking three large sites in the county – Tern Hill Barracks, Ironbridge Power Station, and land at RAF Cosford.

All three have been put forward as preferred sites by the council.

The authority has however stopped short of giving its backing to the Junction Three proposal, and is instead consulting on them first.

Mr Moore said he hoped the council would listen to residents' feelings over the proposals.

He said: "I think the volume of responses demonstrates the strength of feeling, the question now is how much notice Shropshire Council will take of it and we do not know the answer to that."

He added: "I would urge them to listen to the public."

Responding to suggestions that the development would increase the strain on local services, Steve Carey of Curtin & Co, speaking on behalf of the Bradford Estates, said: "No development of this type would be approved by the council without the requirement for relevant infrastructure.

"As part of the emerging masterplan we have shown we would make provision for a secondary school, two primary schools an a health centre and GP surgery. The detail of that would be discussed going forward. At the moment we are talking about the principle of development."

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