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New ‘garden villages’ could bring thousands more houses near M54

By Dominic Robertson | Property | Published:

Consultants are investigating plans that could see widespread housing built through a series of ‘interlinked garden villages’.

St Bartholomew’s Church in Tong will not be affected by the development

The land being considered is owned by the Bradford Estates, around the village of Tong, and close to the M54 corridor.

The estates cover 12,000 acres in Shropshire and Staffordshire. The plan covers an area of about 1,600 acres.

Steve Carey, a spokesman for planning consultants acting for the Bradford Estates, today said the idea was at an ‘early stage’ and as yet there were no development proposals.

Heritage and landscape assessments related to the idea have already been commissioned, but Mr Carey said the development would respect the rural nature of the area and would not adversely impact landmarks including Tong’s St Bartholomew’s Church and Weston Park to the north of the village.

The news comes as Shropshire Council looks to find space for thousands of new homes in the county as part of its updated local development plan.

Mr Carey said: “Shropshire Council, in preparing its draft local plan, recognised the development potential offered along the M54 corridor.

“The need for new homes in Shropshire is undeniable, and government targets are placing increasing demands on councils across the country.

Within the M54 corridor new development is likely to be located near existing junctions and the Bradford Estates land has been identified as a potential development site.

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“There are no current development proposals as we are at such an early stage. However, there is the potential to create a series of interlinked garden villages which a team of specialist consultants is now investigating.”

Mr Carey said if any plan for the garden villages goes ahead it might cut down on construction traffic to extract gravel locally.

He said: “The parish council has reported rumours circulating about imminent gravel extraction locally. We can confirm there are no plans and no planning application.”

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