*** STRATEGIC SITES UPDATE ***
My campaign against inappropriate development
I am continuing to work closely with Shifnal Matters, Albrighton Town Council, Shifnal Town Council, Tong Parish Council & local residents to stop unwanted residential and commercial development on greenbelt land in and around Tong. Some new houses are needed but these should be built on brownfield sites.
In September 2019 I wrote to residents in Shifnal, Tong and Albrighton to update them on the latest news and to let them know my views.
Shropshire Council ran a ‘Strategic Sites Consultation’ from 1st July to 9th September to identify sites for future housing. This is a major consultation and, given widespread community concern about these proposals.
As part of their consultation, Shropshire Council is considering land north of Junction 3 of the M54 (near Tong). This land is pristine greenbelt and has brought important environmental and historical benefits to the local community. The site is completely inappropriate for housing.
I have written to Shropshire Council lodging my strong objection to this part of Shropshire being identified as a strategic site.
Any development on this site would go against government policy which states that brownfield sites should be developed first. In Shifnal and Albrighton there are brownfield sites which offer opportunities for new housing and which would be more sustainable in environmental, social and infrastructure terms. The area's greenbelt must be protected.
Bradford Estates Proposal
Residents of Shifnal, Albrighton or Tong might have received a brochure from Bradford Estates – the developer behind the Tong proposal. In their brochure Bradford Estates made vague promises about providing new schools and a GP surgery if their greenbelt development goes ahead. However, as a resident of Albrighton, I am aware that in the past developers have promised all sorts of benefits in return for getting planning permission, only for those benefits never to materialise. Furthermore, many claims about planning gains for the local community do not seem credible.
Given that Shropshire Council has already met its own housing targets, I have asked why the Council wants to identify yet more greenbelt land for housing developments?
Black Country Authorities Request
Earlier this year, the Black Country Authorities asked Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council to take some of their own new housing quota. The Black Country Authorities claim that they do not have enough land to meet their own housing targets and want to build up to 22,000 houses from their quota in Shropshire instead.
I am pleased to report that Telford & Wrekin Council challenged this request and asked the Black Country Authorities to prove their 'housing need' and the claimed lack of suitable land to hit their housing targets. Telford & Wrekin Council deserves credit for this.
By contrast, Shropshire Council has agreed to discuss the possibility of building some of the Black Country Authorities’ homes on land in Shropshire. I have asked Shropshire Council to explain this perverse decision.
I hope you will join me in fighting for the local greenbelt in Shifnal, Tong and Albrighton. Shropshire Council must ensure that any new housing is prioritised for brownfield land first. That is my position. We must protect our rapidly diminishing greenbelt.
Please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or to let me know your views.