DRAFT SHROPSHIRE LOCAL PLAN
If you aren't happy with Shropshire Council on the planning front there are two things you can all do before early February 2021.
Firstly, if you think they could improve how they consult with people, do take part in the consultation on their Statement of Community Involvement (SCI), which sets the rules for all consultations. It is out for consultation until 1st February 2021. We think some important improvements could be made in their proposals. These are summarised on the last page of our draft submission. If these or anything else chime a bell then do take part in this SCI consultation before it closes on 1st February 2021. The SCI has been out of date and they are only updating it now to tie in with the requirements of the Local Plan Review.
Secondly, Shropshire Council's Local Plan Review, which will hugely affect the countryside, is in the last stage where we can influence it, before it gets examined by a Government planning inspector. If you made a submission at the previous Regulation 18 stage and Shropshire Council haven't listened to you, then you need to say it again now for the Inspector, who won't read anything submitted before. The deadline for responding is 5pm on 5th February 2021. Look at the Council's Regulation 19 website and follow the instructions. It's a more formal procedure than before which is outlined in the Planning Inspectorate Guide (see the image to the right, last three pages in particular).
We continue to think that:
The Draft Plan's targets are too high
Its plans for growth are not sustainable, particularly in view of the declared climate emergency
The process is undemocratic
It still won’t get enough affordable housing built
We are still building up our own submission. You can also read more about this in the consultation responses we made to the five earlier stages of consultation (see below, in reverse order).
Preferred Sites It is lengthy, but does have a 2-page summary!
Our belief that the process is undemocratic is based partly on our re-analysis of the Council's data from the first two consultations. This showed that the electorate are overwhelmingly against the Council’s high housing targets. It is only the development sector, and the Council, that want them. This is the report:
This next formal, 6-week consultation is currently set to straddle Christmas and the New Year, though that is a very tight timetable, because there are usually several months between each consultation, so that comments can be taken on board. After the lengthy public inquiry before a Government Inspector the revised plan is not now expected to be adopted until 2022.
Economic Growth Strategy
The Council has a stated ‘growth culture’ and wants to ‘achieve maximum economic productivity’. There was no reference to sustainability in the consultation documents. We have serious misgivings about this ‘growth, growth, growth’ culture, which is so obviously unsustainable in the long term. There must be more emphasis on addressing the effects of climate change too. Shropshire Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency in May 2019 will not in practice do this: they still think they can carry on with growth as usual.
Shropshire Council's Final Economic Growth Strategy (July 2017) is here.
The Council wants Shropshire to be “the best place to do business and invest” and wants a “step-change” to “maximise our economic potential and increase productivity” and to make its economy bigger and better. Is that really a realistic, or even sensible, ambition for a beautiful rural county that is currently 33rd out of 41 English Counties on economic performance?
Updated October 2020