Shropshire Star

Anger at 'lack of consultation' on housing plan for village amid rejection calls

A parish council says a proposed new housing estate could “open the floodgates” for similar schemes if it gains approval from the county council.

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The plan for 19 homes near Bomere Heath will be decided by Shropshire Council. Image: Applicants

A row over a plan to build 19 affordable homes in Bomere Heath, near Shrewsbury, will be settled by Shropshire Council planners next week, with the scheme recommended for approval despite local opposition to the plans.

Developer J Harper & Sons (Leominster) says the new houses will address a “clear and evidenced need for affordable housing” in the village, adding that demand for housing was already exceeding supply in the county.

But Bomere Heath and District Parish Council says the application hasn’t factored in affordable housing already approved for the village, and called on Shropshire Council to reject the scheme.

The plan for 19 homes near Bomere Heath will be decided by Shropshire Council. Image: Applicants

The application for land off Merrington Road has received 68 objections from residents, while the parish council submitted an eight-page document objecting to the scheme.

The application classes the land as a “rural exception site”, a classification which could allow affordable homes to be built on land which would not otherwise be considered for residential use.

“The parish council is concerned that the approval of this application could open the floodgates to the north of the village for exception and affordability sites,” it said.

“We would emphasise that the applicant be implored that they interact with the parish council and the community to discuss revisions before a resubmission.

“Adequate and open collaboration has not taken place as part of this application and the community has had no outlet to question the applicants or make positive recommendations that may have facilitated a less fractious application, we feel this is why the level of negative responses have been received.”

The parish council had also requested that alternative sites were considered, but a response from agents Black Box Planning said the applicant had conducted an assessment of other sites in the village, included in the application, and the chosen site remained the most suitable.

The developer amended the scheme in November, it says in response to local concern about the impact on nearby properties, amending the layout and revising the number of properties down to 19 from 20. A total of 13 properties will be made available for rent, while six will be able to be purchased on shared ownership schemes.

A report from the council’s affordable housing scheme said there were 19 households currently on the waiting list for properties in Bomere Heath, adding that “the size and tenure of the proposed affordable homes are acceptable and will meet some of the identified need".

The scheme will go before Shropshire Council’s Northern Planning Committee on Tuesday, March 5.