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Consultation planned on 10,000 homes plan next to M54

By Dominic Robertson | Property | Published:

A consultation on plans for up to 10,000 homes and large commercial sites off the M54 will take place later this year.

An aerial view of Tong as it looks today

Shropshire Council is currently asking the public about its preferred sites for homes across the county – which could see as many as 28,750 houses built in Shropshire up until 2036.

However, the authority has also been approached about using other sites for large development, including an area near Tong.

The council said those proposals are considered as 'strategic sites' and the consultation on such plans will take place separately later this year.

The M54 corridor is a particular focus of development for Shropshire Council, with both Bridgnorth and Shifnal highlighted as areas for significant numbers of houses, and employment sites.

Residents in Shifnal have raised concerns about the scale of development planned for the town, which could see green belt land sacrificed for a large employment site and a bypass, along with more than 1,500 homes.

Tong, which sits to the north of the M54 has been suggested to the council as a site for up to 10,000 homes, with development continuing into the 2060s.

The plan, as revealed by the Shropshire Star last year, is to create a "largely self sustaining" new community.

Adrian Cooper, planning policy and strategy manager at Shropshire Council, said people would be asked about the plans later this year.

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He said: "There has been previous press coverage regarding the promotion of land near Cosford on behalf of the landowners, Bradford Estate for a new garden settlement. This proposal to the council would provide land for both housing and employment uses. At the same time, Shropshire Council meets regularly with neighbouring councils such as those in Staffordshire to discuss cross-boundary issues.

"Shropshire Council will be consulting on its preferred options for strategic sites, which will include consideration of all the various strategic proposals which have been promoted to it, later in 2019 and the site will continue to be the subject of ongoing consultation as the Local Plan Review progresses. Any council decision to respond positively to such proposals will be the subject of a press statement in due course."

Shropshire Council's proposal for housing and commercial sites talks about the importance of development along the M54, providing an opportunity to benefit from the the Midlands Engine.

It states: “The combined authority for the West Midlands brings together the metropolitan authorities within adjoining areas to drive forward the Midlands Engine. Shropshire has the potential to benefit from this enterprise via the M54 corridor and the strategic highway network linking together key investment locations at Wolverhampton, Telford, Shifnal, Albrighton and Bridgnorth.”

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In respect of the plans for Tong a submission from Bidwells on Behalf of Bradford Estates, made in December 2017, said that the plans would contribute to the housing needs of the county, and provide jobs.

It stated: "The exact scale of the new settlement is yet to be fully realised, but it is anticipated to be approximately 10,000 dwellings.

"The delivery of a new settlement will be spread over many years."

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