Flooding fears could see Much Wenlock affordable homes plan refused

Plans for affordable homes on the outskirts of Much Wenlock could be rejected over flooding concerns.

Housing association Connexus wants to build 14 houses to the south of the town, accessed through the new Callaughtons Ash development.

The application will go before Shropshire Council’s southern planning committee next week, and has been recommended for refusal by officers.

They argue the properties would be at risk of flooding, and could cause existing flooding issues nearby to worsen.

In his report to the committee, case officer Richard Fortune said: “It is acknowledged that there is an acute current need for affordable housing in the locality and that this proposal would be a high quality, energy efficient, contemporary design appropriate the landscape setting.

“It would therefore contribute to the social objective of sustainable development through the delivery of affordable housing and the dwelling design credentials would contribute to the environmental objective of sustainable development as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

“However, from the drainage information supplied it is considered that the proposed dwellings would be at risk from surface water flooding.

“In addition, it is not possible to conclude from the proposed drainage details that the proposal would not lead to conditions which would exacerbate the adverse impacts of off-site flooding experienced in the locality, and achieve any degree of betterment in comparison with the current surface water drainage situation in the locality.”

Objections

Shropshire Council’s drainage team, Much Wenlock Town Council and Much Wenlock Flood Group all objected to the application along with three members of the public. There were however three letters of support.

Drainage officers said: “Shropshire Council acting as the Lead Local Flood Authority object to the proposed development of Callaughtons Ash phase two, on the basis that the proposed drainage proposal is unable to demonstrate that the surface water produced by the site can be adequately drained, and that the development proposals do not address the issues of overland flow produced by the adjacent landform.

“Although it is appreciated that the land naturally falls towards the highway, maintaining the existing situation where flooding is being caused during storm events is not acceptable.

“For any development proposals to be acceptable the development must demonstrate not only how surface water produced by the site will be sustainably managed, but how the development can provide a betterment to the existing situation where flows generated off-site are causing flooding to properties in phase one and throughout the downstream catchment.”

The flood group said the additional homes would worsen the flooding already being seen on the first phase of the scheme, adding that “the whole design needs re-engineering”.

Mr Fortune’s report added: “While it is acknowledged that the development proposal cannot be expected to resolve in full a pre-existing problem relating to the topography and run-off from farmland, the experience with phase one of the development justifies the council taking a cautious approach.”

The planning committee will discuss the application at a meeting next Tuesday.

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