SEVEN sites earmarked for potential housing development near Oswestry’s historic hillfort will not be adopted under the local plan.

The locations had been put forward to Shropshire Council for consideration by the landowners.

But council planning chiefs have confirmed they have no desire to adopt the sites under the local plan, which runs until 2036. 

One proposed development for 120 homes has been accepted under a previous version of the local plan and is being worked on by developers.

It is for land on the opposite side of Gobowen Road.

The plans have been the centre of a campaign by the Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort group (HOOOH) who have been warning of the impact the potential homes could have had on the Iron Age landmark.

But Andy Wigley, historic environment manager at Shropshire Council, said the seven sites would not be considered for housing.

He said: “There is one application that was accepted under a previous local plan which is for 120 homes and is in the planning system.

“That was accepted for development as previously reported and we are awaiting the planning application on that.

“But the other seven sites put forward to us for consideration will not be earmarked for housing.

“We would like to make it clear that these were put forward to us for consideration for housing by the people who own the land.

“We asked for that to happen as part of the local plan consultation. That does not mean that we are adopting them straight away and will build housing.

“The landowners came to us and said they would be interesting in developing the land.

“We are not interested in the sites by the hillfort.

“We have identified one small site to the west of Oswestry and another at Park Hall and that is it for this local plan.

“Therefore you can say with certainty that there will be no housing development on those sites for many years to come as this local plan is for up to 2036 as it is.”

Mr Wigley added: “I grew up in Shropshire and I visited the hillfort many times.

“I also studied hillforts and now it is my job. It is a nationally important monument and campaigners do have an absolute right to go out and be passionate about it.

“But I wish their campaign was based on fact and I want to make it clear that these sites are no longer being considered.”

Last weekend, up to 350 people and members of HOOOH gathered at the hillfort to carry out the “hug a hillfort” event in a visual protest against possible development in the area.