Residents fight on over 'confusing plans' for homes off M54

Angry residents vowed to continue fighting "confusing" plans that could completely transform a huge swathe of green land off the M54.

Campaigners from the Shifnal Matters group
Campaigners from the Shifnal Matters group

More than 300 people packed into Shifnal Village Hall on Friday night in opposition to plans to 3,000 homes and 50 hectares of employment land built off Junction 3 of the motorway.

Shifnal is also set to get 1,500 more homes as part of Shropshire Council's local development plan.

The proposals, put forward by Shropshire Council, were branded unsustainable by the Shifnal Matters action group, which said the development would put too much pressure onto GP practices and schools in both Shifnal and Albrighton.

Hundreds of people packed into Shifnal Village Hall to discuss the plans

John Moore, trustee of the group, said: "It feels like a David and Goliath situation.

"It's not only the housing developers who are professional, but the planners at Shropshire Council are professional too, and it's their full time job.

"We pay them to do it and then we've got to, on a part time basis, try to influence them to do the more sensible thing of creating sustainable growth.

"Problems in Shifnal come from uncontrolled growth over the last ten years. If you hadn't had that, there would be more potential to expand Shifnal now.

"The growth they're putting forward is ludicrous. We know the services cannot cope."

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It was the second of two meetings that Shifnal Matters attended last week.

The first, in Albrighton, saw another 300 people turn out in force.

Those who attended were given the first edition of the Shifnal Matters newsletter, which members hope will become a regular publication, as well as a copy of Shropshire Council's consultation response form.

People were urged to write back to the council opposing the plans, and to encourage their friends and family to do the same.

Mr Moore said reaction had been strong, despite specific plans not yet being released.

"There is a measure of confusion about the very indistinct proposal for Junction 3," he said.

"Although some of the responses we're getting are confused about why they're being asked to comment on proposal that isn't clear, this is the only opportunity we've got to make a comment and register our concerns.

"If we can get a good response before September 9 on this phase of the consultation, Shropshire Council will have to decide what they're really going to put in front of the planning inspector. You can only take your best guess at what's on their minds."

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