Homes plans too much for Bridgnorth

David Cooper discusses Shropshire Council’s plans to expand Bridgnorth

Shropshire Council has been developing an updated Local Plan to guide future building in the County since 2016. It will run through to 2038, but is expected to be reviewed and updated as necessary at least once every 5 years. It’s controversial because many of our communities have limited options to expand and facilities which are at risk of being over-stretched if too much building takes place. Conservative run Shropshire Council has opted to build nearly a fifth more new homes than the government requires, including an allowance for building homes which the nearby Black Country councils say they need but haven’t got room to build.

The draft plan has now reached an advanced stage. The Council published what it intends to be its final draft plan in December 2020, and held a public consultation on whether it is “sound” until late February 2021. The next step will be for a meeting of Shropshire Council to decide whether to formally submit the plan to the government. If it does so, a planning inspector will be appointed to “examine” the plan and report back on whether it is good enough to be formally adopted by the Council. But with elections for all seats on Shropshire Council being held in May, it will be the newly elected councillors who take the decision about whether to go to the next stage or to send the draft plan back for a rethink.

Under current plans Bridgnorth’s 6,000 homes will be increased by a further 1,800 by 2038 – and nearly all of them would be built on farmland to the North and West of Bridgnorth at Tasley. That would be the equivalent of building a new settlement the size of Much Wenlock on the edge of Bridgnorth in just 18 years! You can read about the plans in more detail here.