Development

Shropshire Council’s Place Plan could conflict with Bishop’s Castle’s Town Plan

There are real concerns about the proposed land allocation for housing in Shropshire Council’s revised Bishop’s Castle Place Plan. The site is in an area defined in the approved Bishop’s Castle Town Plan as unsuitable for development unless vehicular access via the town centre is prevented.

Shropshire Council are holding a public meeting in the Public Hall at Bishop’s Castle on Monday 21 January, starting at 7pm, to gain local opinion.  The proposed new housing site lies to the north west of the town and is designated for 70 houses, 40 of which are intended as affordable homes.  This is in addition to the site on School Lane that was designated in the last Local Plan Review, also with a 70-dwelling capacity.

“Whilst we believe it’s imperative to get more affordable homes, the problem defined by the Bishop’s Castle Town Plan Policy and Map is one of access” said Anne-Marie Jackson, a member of the Bishop’s Castle Community Partnership, “as virtually all vehicular movements to and from this new site will need to go through the Conservation Area, including on streets that are inadequate to cope, partly because of their ancient characteristics.  Welsh Street, the Market Square and Salop Street are just three streets that could be affected by this development unless suitable traffic restrictions can be enforced.”

In their published documents, Shropshire Council recognise the vehicular problems of Bishop’s Castle town centre and state that access to the site will be provided via the Wintles estate road.  As however, the site is split by Welsh Street which takes vehicles directly to the town centre and beyond, the question remains as to how use of sensitive thoroughfares such as Welsh Street can realistically be prevented and so comply with the Bishop’s Castle Town Plan Policy which was adopted by the Town Council in October last year.

The public meeting on 21 January will be a vital opportunity for residents of Bishop’s Castle to establish whether, should the land be zoned for housing, Shropshire Council will thereafter have the power to ensure that sensitive streets cannot be accessed from the site.

View the Development Policy drawn up by the Bishop’s Castle Community Partnership here Development Policy 1 30 Aug. ’18 and the Development Policy map just released by Shropshire Council (January 2019( here  Development Policy 1 Map.