Context to Suggested Objection 9
Shropshire Council's Exceptional Circumstances Statement has only been made public as part of the current consultation (presumably because it has only just been written).
Paragraph 172 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) describes the exceptional circumstances ‘test’ -
Planning permission should be refused for major development in an AONB other than in exceptional circumstances, and where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest. Consideration of such applications should include an assessment of:
• the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations, and the impact of permitting it, or refusing it, upon the local economy;
• the cost of, and scope for, developing outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it in some other way; and
• any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated.
Shropshire Council believe they meet each of the 3 NPPF tests (although they produce no credible evidence) and conclude -
“Major development is required to directly meet Church Stretton’s needs and support the town’s role as a Key Centre.
There is limited scope for meeting the future housing needs of the Church Stretton community outside the designated area.
A consideration of the detrimental effects on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities of allocating site CST021 shows that there are no significant constraints. Additionally, mitigation measures have been put in place to moderate any residual effects.
The conclusion is therefore that major development in Church Stretton is in the public interest. Such development will enable the town to meet its own housing needs and will contribute to its long term economic and social sustainability.”
The Save Snatchfield Group consider that –
• There is NO objectively assessed local (Church Stretton) housing need for 200 homes to be built in our town in the period to 2038.
• As such, there is NO objectively assessed local (Church Stretton) housing need for the proposed 70 homes major development at Snatchfield. Building 56 homes the Church Stretton community does not need in order to (possibly) get 14 affordable homes we do need is not a sound argument.
• The possible 20% (14) affordable home allocation is unlikely to be achievable. Given the difficulty and expense of developing the Snatchfield site, developers may well argue to either reduce the affordable home allocation or remove it completely by making a financial contribution in lieu of on-site provision.
• Shropshire Council provide NO data to illustrate the economic impact of developing (or not developing) the Snatchfield site.
• The future needs of the current Church Stretton Community CAN be met on other sites in Church Stretton. If Shropshire Council genuinely want to focus on the needs of the “Church Stretton Community” then a MAJOR development is not necessary.
• It is nonsense for Shropshire Council to suggest that there are no significant detrimental effects on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities. The truth is that (contrary to what is claimed in the Exceptional Circumstances Statement) there has been NO detailed site review of Snatchfield. NO Ecology Study. NO identification of priority habitats. NO Heritage Assessment. NO Archaeological Assessment. NO Sustainable Drainage Strategy. NO details of how mature trees should be appropriately buffered. NO details of how the line of the Jack Mytton Way should be appropriately buffered.