MP in talks with council over controversial housing site in north Shropshire
An MP has written to Shropshire Council’s leader over a controversial housing development after meeting with frustrated residents.
A development in Wem for 25 houses has caused controversy after Shropshire Council gave planning permission despite historic issues with flooding and retrospective planning applications for drainage on the site.
MP for north Shropshire, Owen Paterson, visited a group of residents who live near the site off Roden Grove prior to a meeting with Shropshire Council bosses last week to discuss their concerns over the planning system, which they feel “let them down”.
Wem residents wrote a letter to Mr Paterson asking for his help after Wem Town Council demanded a meeting with developers Fletcher Homes late last year as swales were constructed on the site without planning permission to try to alleviate flooding.
The letter said: “Residents feel very frustrated and let down by the whole process.
“We feel no one – other than our own local councillors – is listening to us and Shropshire Council fails to give us adequate answers and assurances to our concerns.”
In response, Owen Paterson said: “I have visited the residents and they explained the problems they are experiencing. I have written and discussed it with the leader of Shropshire Council, Peter Nutting, and have also written to Welsh Water.”
Much of the controversy surrounding the development is over flooding concerns and the fact swales were created on the site prior to any planning permission, meaning the required public open space has been reduced by 40 per cent.
George Nash, Wem Town Councillor, said the development was “ridiculous” and made a mockery of Shropshire Council’s planning system.
“The residents are still very concerned – the water is backing up and most of these residents are in their 70s and 80s and they do not need the concern,” he said.
“A lot of the blame also lies with Shropshire Council as well because they passed the ridiculous development in the first place. Since the 1960s the development has always flooded because it is on a flood plane. Applications have been turned down until recently because of that issue.
“Two residents have complained about the recent downpour leading to water being pushed into their gardens.
“We were sent letters in October time asking us to support or complain about the swales at the bottom of the site. But they had already built it so it just makes a mockery of the council and the planning system.”