AONB Partnership Object to Snatchfield and Gaerstone as Preferred Sites
The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership has now joined the Town Council, The Civic Society, The Green Party and Local Residents and has made a formal objection to both the Snatchfield Meadow and Gaerstone Farm sites.
The AONB Partnership is a Joint Advisory Committee established by Shropshire Council and its opinion carries significant weight. The AONB Partnership's views are a "material consideration"; meaning that planners must take the Partnership's opinions into account when deliberating on the inclusion of sites in the Local Plan Review.
This does not mean however, that Snatchfield and Gaerstone have been "saved". But it does mean that Shropshire Council will now have to demonstrate sound reasons for rejecting the Partnership's stated opposition.
The AONB Partnership make many strong points in their objections, incluing the following:
(it) "may not be possible to deliver the housing numbers allocated to Church Stretton without unacceptable impact on the AONB"
(housing) "numbers from a mathematical exercise should not drive harmful and therefore unsustainable development"
"In allocating sites for Church Stretton which will be classified as ‘major development’, the Council must address the NPPF presumption against major development in the AONB, and satisfy the three stringent tests of ‘exceptional circumstances’, which has not been done. With so many alternative locations within the county, and the obvious environmental constraints, our view is that the tests cannot be met for these two sites"
To see the full text of the AONB Partnership's objections click here.