DRAFT SHROPSHIRE LOCAL PLAN
Shropshire Council began the process of producing a new Draft Plan in January 2017. After six rounds of consultation it was finally submitted in September 2021 for examination by planning inspectors. The Stage 1 hearing sessions (over seven days) of the examination happened in early July 2022. A further follow-up hearing session on 17 January 2023 considered whether the "Duty to Co-operate" had been properly dealt with. The Inspectors' report on 15 February.concluded that it had, but required Shropshire Council to carry out a lot of further work to make the Draft Plan sound, which they expect to complete by 30 June 2023. Before that, there is a separate hearing session on minerals and waste on 3 May 2023.
The website for the EiP is here. We took an active part in the hearing sessions, recordings of which can be accessed through the EiP website. Our arguments were based on our submission for the last stage of consultation, which majored on the fact that there is no sense within the Draft Plan of the "emergency" bit of the climate emergency the Council declared in 2019. It included much material from Shropshire Climate Action Partnership and their Zero Carbon Shropshire Plan, which everyone should read and act on. Pdf and Word versions of our submission are linked on the right - the Word version is easier to navigate around.
The Local Plan will determine the scale of building in Shropshire up to 2038 and how green that is going to be, so it is a critical document.
We have argued throughout the 5-year process so far 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
The Plan is not now expected to be adopted until well into 2024.
Economic Growth Strategy (EGS)
The Council has revised its original EGS, and a consultation on that revision ended on 2 September 2022. It has a stated ‘growth culture’ and wants to ‘achieve maximum economic productivity’. 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 Revised 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 April 2023