PARISH councillors say they have been "insulted" after being snubbed by planing chiefs over the controversial planning application near Oswestry.

Shropshire Council approached Oswestry Town Council to consider the British Ironwork Centre's retrospective planning application due to the scale of the development.

But members at the Development at Planning Committee meeting this week agreed to object to the application until rural councillors were properly consulted.

Councillor Martin Jones, of Oswestry Rural Parish Council, asked why principal planning officer Philip Mullineux had not discussed it in advance, rather than them finding out in newspaper reports.

"The continued lack of respect for due practice is insulting," he said.

"Is he genuinely trying to take away our parish voice? We're a council in our own right – why are we being sidelined on this issue?"

Cllr Jones asked the town council to remove the item from the agenda and for rural councillors to be consulted on the matter before a decision is taken to remove it from their jurisdiction.

"The absolute contempt that has been shown towards us as fellow councillors is galling," he added.

"It's disrespectful that this has been brought to you without addressing us first."

Resident Carol Richardson said that the centre was asked to improve its visibility splays and access in 2009 but it had still not been done.

She added: "He's operating but he hasn't got planning permission. This has been going on a long time, so I think somebody needs to really seriously look at this."

Maserfield resident Les Maguire voiced concerns over traffic access and whether there would be further retrospective applications for the site in the future.

Mr Maguire called for Clive Knowles, centre chairman. to be hit with "massive fines" to prevent others putting in similar retrospective bids.

"I object to it completely, because I don't believe he [Mr Knowles] should be doing what he's doing the way he's doing it," he added.

Town councillors did not take the items off the agenda, but instead agreed to voice serious concerns that the rural parish council had not been fully consulted and therefore decision-making could be open to challenge as it would appear to town authority that due process had not been followed.

They also agreed to object to the application until the parish council was consulted.

They also asked for an assurance from Shropshire Council that highway views and opinions would be fully reflected in any final report.

Cllr Duncan Kerr said: "This is a fundamental principle of our democracy that the appropriate local council, Oswestry Rural Parish Council, are properly consulted.

"They have not been properly consulted – there is no procedure I know of in planning law here you can consult somebody else and override their wishes, so I don't think what is being done is lawful in planning terms."