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MP urges Secretary of State to block plans for thousands of homes near M54 at Tong

By Rory Smith | Property | Published:

Wrekin's MP has urged the Secretary of State for Housing to stop Shropshire Council if it decides to build thousands of houses on land off the M54 near Tong.

Mark Pritchard

In a letter sent to residents in Shifnal and the surrounding area, Mark Pritchard said 'the site is completely inappropriate for housing' and the development would destroy 'pristine greenbelt' land.

The letter, which constituents have been receiving over the last week, centres on Shropshire Council's Strategic Sites Consultation, in which land off junction three of the M54 is subject to 3,000 homes and 50 hectares of employment land.

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In the letter, the Tory MP said any development would go against Government policy of building on brownfield sites available in Shifnal and Albrighton.

It states: "Notwithstanding that these plans are being driven by the local council rather than by the Government, I have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to set out my concerns and to ask him to intervene if Shropshire Council decides to push ahead with these proposals.

"I also intend to raise the issue in the House of Commons at the earliest possible opportunity.

"In Shifnal and Albrighton there are brownfield sites which offer opportunities for new housing and which would be more sustainable in environmental, social and infrastructure terms. The area's greenbelt must be protected."

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Mr Pritchard adds that amenities promised by Bradford Estates, the developer behind the proposal, are 'vague' and 'do not seem credible'.

He said: "Bradford Estates made vague promises about providing new schools and a GP surgery if their greenbelt development goes ahead.

"I am aware that in the past developers have promised all sorts of benefits in return for getting planning permission, only for those benefits never to materialise.

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"Many claims about planning gains for the local community do not seem credible."

He adds that 'Shropshire Council has already met its own housing targets' and praised Telford & Wrekin Council for questioning the Black Country Authorities' claim that it needs to build up to 22,000 houses in Shropshire to meet its own housing quota.

"By contrast, Shropshire Council has agreed to discuss the possibility of building some of the Black Country Authorities' homes on land in Shropshire. I have asked Shropshire Council to explain this perverse decision," he adds.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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