Shropshire Council’s development plans for Bridgnorth
Shropshire Council is updating the Local Plan for the County, to guide future development up to 2038. Once it’s formally adopted, the Local Plan will be used as a benchmark for deciding planning applications. The full draft Local Plan includes:
- Strategic policies about the approach to managing development across the county
- Development management policies setting out how proposals will be assessed
- Guidelines on how much development is expected, and where it can take place, for each of the major settlements in the County.
The existing Local Plan has 2 parts. The Shropshire Core Strategy was adopted in 2011, and included the top level “Strategic” policies (including the number of homes to be built and area of land to be developed for employment use) up to 2026. The SAMDev plan, adopted in late 2015, set out the detailed policies for managing development and the development boundaries for Shropshire’s main towns and villages. Within development boundaries, it is accepted that development can occur (subject to detailed planning applications being approved). Areas outside of development boundaries are countryside and development is strictly controlled. SAMDev included guidelines on what would be likely to be acceptable on larger “allocated” sites.
SAMDev moved the development boundary for Bridgnorth & Tasley. The area currently occupied by Bridgnorth Livestock Market and an area of farmland across to Hook Farm was allocated as a site for 500 homes and local facilities The Livestock market is scheduled to relocate to a green field site SW of the A458 Bridgnorth by-pass with an additional area of land next to it allocated for potential employment use. Up to the end of 2020 neither of these sites has progressed to the planning application stage so they have been kept as allocated sites under the latest proposals.
The Local Plan update looks further ahead – up to 2038. There’s now a nationally set guideline for the minimum number of homes Shropshire Council has to plan for; across the County, the Council has chosen to exceed this by just under a fifth. It has also said that it is aiming for “balanced growth” so that 1 new job is created for each additional home built. Development will be focussed on Shrewsbury and the county’s market towns and key centres, together with “strategic sites” (redevelopment of Clive Barracks at Tern Hill and of the Ironbridge Power Station site, plus further growth at RAF Cosford).
The development guideline suggested by Shropshire Council for the Bridgnorth area is 1,800 homes to be built between 2016 and 2038, and 49 Hectares of land to be made available for employment development. After allowing for the areas set aside under SAMDev and an allowance for small developments inside the existing boundary, the Council has proposed that a single major development site should be the main focus of Bridgnorth’s expansion. It is also suggested that the site should be developed along “garden village” principles.
Shropshire Council’s initial preference was to release land from the Green belt at Stanmore and build a garden village there, alongside expanding the current Stanmore Industrial Estate. This formed part of a public consultation between November 2018 and February 2019 (that involved 850 homes to be built by 2036). In Spring 2020 a competing proposal to build a garden village on land SW of the A458 Bridgnorth by-pass at Tasley was put forward and the Council chose this as a preferred option, alongside expanding Stanmore Industrial Estate. There was a further public consultation in August and September 2020 – this was limited in scope due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Shropshire Council’s Cabinet approved a final draft plan in December 2020. The next stage is to consult about whether the plan is “Sound” and legally compliant. The tests of “soundness” are:
- Positively Prepared (meets identified need)
- Justified (appropriate, based on evidence)
- Effective (deliverable)
- Consistent with national policy
After the consultation ends Shropshire Council is likely to decide to send the draft plan to be looked at by an independent planning inspector. The inspector will advise whether the plan is good enough to be formally adopted and may throw it out entirely or suggest that the Council change it. Your responses to this consultation would then be sent to the inspector with the draft plan, and be taken into account in making the inspector’s decision. Please have your say now, even if you’ve commented before, because this is a different type of consultation – earlier comments will not be sent to the planning inspector. Your response can be about any aspect of the plan – the details for the Bridgnorth area are in policy S3 (page 181 of the plan document).
The deadline for taking part in the consultation is 26th February 2021. Comments have to be submitted on standard forms. The main form for submitting comments is form B. You can send in as many of these as you think is appropriate to cover different issues – it asks you to say what you think is wrong with the plan and how you would like it changed. Forms B are linked to a form A which you only send in once and is about you.
Response forms, guidance on filling them in, and details of what’s in the plan are on the Shropshire Council website at:
Homes for local families, not developers’ profits
Conservative controlled Shropshire Council is supporting controversial plans to make a Garden Village at Tasley the centre of future house building in the Bridgnorth area.
Shropshire’s local plan allocates land for building, and the Council is updating it. The new plan will guide development from its formal adoption, probably in mid 2022, until 2038 – and beyond.
There are existing plans for 500 homes in Tasley, with employment land and a relocated livestock market the other side of the A458 Bridgnorth by-pass. On top of that, the Council now intends to earmark 1/2 square mile of farmland to the South of the A458 for a “Garden Village” with 1,050 homes and employment land. This would see development running for nearly a mile alongside the A458, and 1/2 mile along the Ludlow Road. After 2038 the development would move further West.
Shropshire Council previously supported a different Garden Village proposal at Stanmore, using protected Green Belt land. The Council dropped that as its preferred option after housebuilders Taylor Wimpey put forward the scheme at Tasley (which isn’t in the Green Belt) in March this year.
When the Stanmore proposal was consulted on early in 2019 it attracted a lot of public comments. The report prepared for Shropshire Council said that “a large number of residents” had expressed concern about the scale of building proposed and the impact on Bridgnorth’s infrastructure and facilities. The new proposal doesn’t address those concerns, it just changes where the building would be!
Lib Dem Housing Campaigner and Bridgnorth Town Councillor, David Cooper said:
“It’s difficult for local families to get on the housing ladder and a lot of people who would like to live in Bridgnorth just can’t afford it. But relying on just one big developer led scheme we would be very dependent on their commercial priorities and what they see as profitable. It’s especially worrying with the government saying they want to ‘build, build, build’ and threatening to take away the local element of planning decisions. We need to make sure that we get it right in this Local Plan – it could be our last chance before the rules change.”
Have your say – deadline 30th September
Shropshire Council is running a public consultation. It’s mainly online, and you have to download the information you need from this website address:
There’s a long list of documents on the website – the overall plan is the 1st on the list: Regulation 18: Pre-Submission Draft of the Shropshire Local Plan 2016 to 2038.pdf. The Bridgnorth section is on pages 169 to 179. Forms and instructions are at the end of the list. You submit one form A (personal details), and as many form B‘s (your comments) as you need. You can email completed forms or post them.
Have your say on plans for your local area
Shropshire Council launched a wide-ranging consultation on its draft local plan on 3rd August 2020. Here we explain what it’s about, summarise the proposals for South East Shropshire, and describe how to find out more and how to comment on the proposals. The deadline for comments is 30th September 2020.
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