Latest on Local Plan and Proposed Snatchfield Development
You will be used to updates coming via Graham Lewis. Unfortunately, Graham needs to step back a little over the coming weeks. So, until normal service is resumed, updates from our ad hoc steering group will be coming from me.
New Regulation 18 Consultation
As you will probably have seen from previous updates from Graham or other sources such as Stretton Focus, Shropshire Council have decided to do another Regulation 18 (informal) consultation on its Local Plan proposals, including the proposal for a 70 home new development at Snatchfield Farm. The consultation will run from 3 August to 30 September. The links to the consultation documents on Shropshire Council’s website are included below -
Our view is that Shropshire Council are undertaking another Regulation 18 consultation as they do not believe that they can demonstrate that they had conducted the previous informal consultation in an effective or meaningful way. In addition, since the previous consultation in early 2019, the Council have taken the opportunity to revise many of their policies.
Our Suggested Approach for Church Stretton Respondents
The Shropshire Council website contains hundreds of often very technical documents (new documents are still being added daily) and is very difficult to effectively use. While we hope you will continue to object to Snatchfield’s inclusion in the Local Plan and you are welcome to plough your way through Shropshire Council’s website yourself, we would suggest that a more productive approach might be as follows –
The Save Snatchfield Steering Group spend the next couple of weeks going through things in detail and extracting the key documents. We will also summarise a range of suggested key objections to the Snatchfield proposal. We will circulate both the suggested key documents and the suggested key objections to you by the end of August.
We complement this approach by getting some professional planning advice. Many groups who have successfully opposed major developments have found such advice invaluable. We are in the process of appointing a planning consultancy to give us some initial advice and this will be delivered by the end of the second week of September. Again, we will share that advice with you.
As such, we suggest that you may wish to consider waiting until the last 2 weeks of the consultation period before writing and submitting your objections.
As we feel that we will need some professional planning and legal advice over the coming weeks and months, we will establish a ‘fighting fund’ to cover the costs. I will circulate a link to a ‘Just Giving’ page in the next few days. The Strettons Civic Society have kindly agreed to hold funds raised on our behalf. Hopefully, you will feel able to contribute (large or small) to our Campaign.
Links with other Groups
We have ongoing constructive dialogue with other Groups who wish to oppose Snatchfield (Strettons Civic Society, Shropshire CPRE, South Shropshire Green Party, All Stretton Village Society and others). One of the members of the All Stretton Village Society, an ecologist, visited the Snatchfield site this week and has given us some initial thoughts. We will write these up and share them with you.
Alternatives to Shropshire Council’s approach to the AONB
Graham has previously alerted you to the approach to development taken by South Lakeland District Council and Lancaster City Council. In short, these Councils jointly adopted a separate Development Plan Document (DPD) specifically for the Arnside and Silverdale AONB. The DPD identifies sites for new housing and employment which directly meet local community needs and sets out robust planning policies to ensure that all development also reflects the special qualities of Arnside and Silverdale AONB. A link to our recent Shropshire Star article is below. We will continue to press Shropshire Council to pursue a similar DPD for the Shropshire Hills AONB. This would be a much better solution than the current mechanistic ‘top down’ approach taken by Shropshire Council.
We will continue to circulate updates on a regular basis in the period up to 30 September. Some of you may have noticed that there were surveyors on Snatchfield today – so the risk of development is very real. However, it can be stopped !
Thanks for your continued support.