Decision on plans to build thousands of homes across Shropshire delayed for dedicated meeting
A meeting set to include discussions for a plan that will set out where thousands of homes can be built throughout Shropshire has been put back to focus solely on the issue of development, councillors have said.
Shropshire Council's decision to approve the latest version of its local plan was set to be included at a meeting on July 6, but has been postponed until July 20 to have its own dedicated discussion.
The authority said it felt that the importance of, and interest in, the local plan meant that a meeting dedicated to this one item would be more appropriate.
The additional two weeks will also enable the council to agree and confirm arrangements for the consultation – something that is needed as Covid-19 restrictions have meant it has not yet been possible to agree use of all the public buildings needed to carry out consultation.
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for housing and strategic planning, said the planned consultation on the plan will not be delayed and is set to begin at the end of July.
Councillor Macey said: “We’re aware that the local plan review is of importance for the whole of Shropshire and that there is significant interest in the next phase of consultation. We feel it is best to hold a standalone meeting dedicated to the local plan, to allow us to give it the attention it deserves, and to give interested parties an opportunity to express their views.
“The meeting will also allow us to bring forward our confirmed plan for public consultation and whilst we would encourage people to take part online, we will be detailing the other arrangements that will be in place.
“This pre-submission version of the plan will be subject to eight weeks of consultation from late July, when we will invite people to submit their comments about the soundness of the plan, before we move to the next stage.
“The plan will support our key policies on important issues like affordable housing, climate change and economic growth. The draft of the plan sets out how the needs and aspirations of our county can be supported in the long-term.”
Shropshire Council's local plan is one of the most important documents set to be approved by the authority.
It will effectively set out areas in every town across the county where houses – in some cases hundreds – can be built.
It includes controversial plans for Bridgnorth and Shifnal, while the council will also decide whether to give its backing to proposals from the Bradford Estates for up to 3,000 homes and commercial land to the West of Tong, off Junction 3 of the M54.
The Bradford Estates proposal has not previously been supported by the council and was not included in the local plan review. The meeting will see the authority decide whether it will back the plan.
After the council decision the plan will go back out for a public consultation period and will ultimately be submitted to the government for approval.
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