Villagers fight plan to build homes on allotment site


Sarah Staples

A VILLAGE could lose vital community facilities if plans to develop an allotment site into housing fall through.
Criftins Village Hall Committee, which oversees the running of facilities in Dudleston Heath including the village hall, football pitch, tennis courts and bowling green, has submitted an outline application to develop housing on allotments near the village hall.
The committee says that the income from developing the site would enable them to maintain and improve the current facilities they have.
John Driskell, treasurer for the committee, said: “We are faced with a very large bill to replace the roof of the village hall in the near future and this is one way of raising the funds.”

Outline documents show that the allotments would be relocated to a nearby site and the tennis pavilion would also need to be moved if the application went ahead.
But local residents and plot owners feel the popular allotment site should not be turned into housing.
Writing on the Shropshire Council planning site, Patricia Miles said: “I am concerned that this land is to be taken from the people of Dudleston Heath. It is an asset in its present use as allotments for the local community. I am also very concerned that if the house building goes ahead the access in and out onto a very narrow road will be very dangerous, as it is at the moment on exit from the car park.
“The local amenities are not able to accommodate more housing and people, there isn't a shop and the bus service has been decreased to the point of being pretty useless.”
Sally Knight, a member of the village tennis club, added: “The tennis clubhouse was built with money donated from a fund to commemorate the village inhabitants who lost their lives fighting in the Second World War. As such it is a memorial and should not be moved.
“The allotment tenants have spent many hours creating beautiful gardens and it would be a loss to the village to destroy these. There is no safe uncontaminated ground that they could have to make new gardens.”
The number and size of the houses proposed is not yet known.
The deadline for a decision on this application is Wednesday, July 23.

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