Protesters celebrate as plans to build on Bridgnorth park are dropped
A group dedicated to safeguarding a country park on the outskirts of Bridgnorth is celebrating after “threatening” plans to build on the site were axed.
But despite developers saying meetings have been scheduled with the Friends of Stanmore Country Park to look at ways the setting could be improved, the group said it would be “premature” to discuss ideas before proposals to build on surrounding land are confirmed.
The plans centre on a site at Stanmore, near Bridgnorth, and include 850 homes to be built on land up until 2036, with a further 650 homes earmarked after 2036.
They also include a large section of land earmarked for business development, aimed to complement Stanmore Industrial Estate with the promise of 2,000 jobs being delivered up to and after 2036.
Originally, Stanmore Country Park was included in the plans to deliver the 850 homes, but the park has been removed from the plans in favour of preserving the local asset instead.
The consortium behind the plans includes Apley Estates, Stanmore Properties and other local landowners.
Shropshire Council, which owns Stanmore Country Park, was originally included in the consortium but has been dropped along with the plans to build on the park.
Andy Howard, chairman of the friends group, said: “While it is the right and only logical decision, it is shameful that the area was proposed for development in the first place.
“Regular users of the park love and treasure this green space and as a consequence they have endured months of stress and anxiety.
“If the wider scheme to build on the green belt is given the go-ahead, it will have significant implications for the park, its setting and the type of leisure space required.
“The Friends of Stanmore would then welcome the opportunity to input into enhancements of the park, or example, improving access and biodiversity.”
Mr Howard added the group will only look at ways of improving the country park once stage two of Shropshire Council’s local plan consultation finishes later this year.
“However, at this stage, it has to be recognised that these proposals are still part of an ongoing public consultation by Shropshire Council and until the process has finished, it would be premature for the Friends of Stanmore to engage in discussions with the consortium ahead of this democratic decision-making process,” he said.