Plans for 40 homes near Oswestry are submitted
Plans for the second housing development to be built by Shropshire Council’s own housing company have been submitted for approval as proposals for a third site are finalised.
Cornovii Developments Ltd has earmarked the sites of a former care home in Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, a former school in Ifton Heath, St Martin’s, and a piece of land at Ellesmere Wharf.
Plans for 40 homes at the Ifton Heath site, on Overton Road, have now been submitted to planning officers, with approval for the scheme expected to be granted by September.
The company, which launched last year after the council agreed a £14 million loan to get it started, hopes to develop up to 50 sites across Shropshire in a bid to address the county’s housing shortage.
Harpreet Rayet, the council’s director of development, told the housing supervisory board that it was hoped work could start on site in early 2021.
Mr Rayet said: “The planning application has now been submitted, we have completed all our surveys.
“The site, in terms of its density, is in line with that we would hope within a rural area which is below 30 homes per hectare.
“There is a mix of two, three and four-bedroom houses with some bungalows.
“We have also incorporated some of the existing green space for areas of the site that are quite difficult to develop because of their topography.
“We are hoping, based on our initial conversations with the planners on the layout, that what we have proposed will get a positive response.”
It follows proposals for the Monkmoor development, for 33 homes at the former care home site in Frith Close, which were submitted to planners in April and are expected to be approved in the next few months.
Mr Rayet said: “To date we have had some really positive feedback from the planners and there is just a few technical issues we are working with them to resolve in terms of the planning application.
“Generally they are very happy with our urban design principles and also the density and the proposed designs as well, and the feedback from the local community has also been very strong.
“There have been questions about when we start on site – things around traffic management and the way in which the houses will be built – and we are hoping to hold further consultation events following the completion and hopefully acceptance of the planning application.”
Initial plans for the third site, Ellesmere Wharf, have also been revealed and Mr Rayet said work was ongoing to finalise the design of the scheme with a number of constraints including a culvert running under part of the site and land contamination.
Current plans indicate the development will include 18 houses and six bungalows, in a move away from the council’s earlier ambitions for a block of 60 apartments.
Mark Barrow, the council’s director of place, told the committee he was “really pleased” with Cornovii’s progress so far.
Mr Barrow said: “I think for me, things to call out particularly are that this totals 97 new units – 62 for sale and 35 affordable – but importantly to call out is 12 bungalows in the mix.
“We teed up this whole process through the establishment of Cornovii addressing unmet need was a really important part of that rationale, so I think that need and this first wave containing that provision is really important.
“Then a mix of two, three and four-bed family homes that again are going to reflect local need.
“It is great to see the dates for Frith Close commencing hopefully at the end of 2020 and the other two sites commencing in early 2021.
“We picked up the desire of getting to delivery quickly and I think congratulations to Harpreet and the team for getting to this stage.”
Councillor Cecilia Motley said the new company provided an opportunity for the council to lead by example in constructing well-designed new housing schemes.
She said: “I do think we are in the happy position, if we can get this built exactly as we want it, where we will actually be able to demonstrate to the large developers actually the sort of housing that we want to see in Shropshire and that we are not going to accept a lower standard.”