Growing opposition to 'urban sprawl'


Rebecca Cole

COUNCILLORS have assured campaigners they are firmly backing objections to a controversial housing development.
Members of Oswestry Rural Parish Council shared residents’ fears over proposals for 64 houses to be built on The Cottams, a piece of open land which currently marks the boundary between Morda and Oswestry, which they believe would amount to ‘urban sprawl’.
The council’s grounds for objection, listed at a meeting of the council on Tuesday, January 28 also included increased congestion, particularly at the beginning and end of The Marches School day, pressure on school places, the effect on wildlife and flooding.
Councillor Val Edwards said: “We do not want this at all.
“It will destroy the green space between the two settlements.”
The application, submitted by David Wilson Homes, was included in Shropshire Council’s Site Allocations and Management of Developments (SAMDev) plan but members of the public appealed to Oswestry Town Council to ask for it to be removed
Cllr Robert Milton criticised the town council’s refusal to do so, saying: “I feel like they’ve sacrificed this land so they can oppose the case over the hillfort.
“It’s disgusting and I’m bitterly disappointed.”
John Abram, who addressed the parish council on behalf of Morda Residents Group (MRG), shared this sentiment saying the town council had “ignored their electorate” and left the boundary between town and parish “at risk”.
He said: “I urge the parish council to demonstrate rather more support for their electorate by continuing to oppose the inclusion of The Cottams land, insist that Shropshire Council recognises and respects the need to retain the green space boundary between parish and town and also continues with its objections to the planning application.”
Cllr Paul Milner responded with: “I think we should do everything we can to challenge this.
“We need to work closely with the people of Morda to have this removed from SAMDev and organise the next plan of action.”
The council unanimously voted to write to Shropshire Council to voice their concerns and demand the development be removed from SAMDev.
Ninety comments, all but two of which were objections, have already been left on the Shropshire Council website, adding weight to the claims made by the parish council.
Chairman of the council, Cllr Phil May, added: “We want to reassure residents of Morda that we are formally against these plans.”
Speaking after the meeting, John Mellor, of MRG said members would be meeting again to continue their fight against the development ahead of a decision being made at the next meeting of Shropshire Council’s North planning committee.
l A meeting on plans to fight the development takes place tonight (Tuesday) at Oswestry Cricket Club starting at 7pm.

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