200 homes for Much Wenlock would be driving a ‘coach and horses’ through plan
Proposals for 200 homes in Much Wenlock 'drive a coach and horses' through its neighbourhood plan, according to a councillor.
Councillor David Turner, who represents the town, has called on the people of Much Wenlock to have their say on Shropshire Council's development plans, after the authority announced a consultation on the proposals.
He said local residents had been concerned that the plan proposes building 200 homes in the town up until 2038, when the town's own neighbourhood plan had recommended 150.
Councillor Turner added that there was concern over the scale of the 'Hunters Gate' site proposed in the draft plan, and the suggestion that flood attenuation work in the area can only take place if the development goes ahead.
The site was initially proposed to have 80 homes, something residents attended a public meeting to register opposition to last year, arguing that sites in the town should be 25 homes or fewer.
However, the site which is Shropshire Council's preferred location in the town, is now included in the local plan for 120 homes – 40 more than the proposal which had attracted opposition in the first place.
Councillor Turner said: "At the beginning of this year Shropshire Council came to us and said the promoters of the Hunters Gate site say they need 120 houses not 80 in order to provide the flood attenuation for that site and the site built in 2003 where many houses were flooded in 2007."
He added: "If people did not want 80 on one site then they certainly don't want 120."
Councillor Turner said there are brownfield sites in the town that could be developed for smaller numbers of housing – although the process may be more difficult for developers.
He said: "It is a piece of cake to build 120 houses on green field sites, it is more difficult to 20 houses on a former garage where you may have to decontaminate the ground, but we are not here just to build houses to make developers rich, we have to make homes for people."
Councillor Turner said there were further concerns about infrastructure due to other planned developments for hundreds of homes at Buildwas and Tasley, as well as a smaller development in Cressage.
He said that the local doctors surgery, school, and road network would all feel the impact of the massive growth in housing.