OSWESTRY is missing out on money to improve the town’s infrastructure because of the way financial contributions from developers are calculated, councillors say.

Oswestry Town Council is to request a government review of the formula used to work out the proportion of community infrastructure levy (CIL) money that gets passed down to different town and parish councils, after saying the current method was unfair.

At a planning committee meeting on Monday, members heard the town was being awarded just under £25,000 this year under the ‘neighbourhood fund’ element of CIL, which was introduced in 2013.

Meanwhile Oswestry Rural Parish Council is to receive £44,000, Whittington £29,000 and Selattyn and Gobowen £23,000.

The money is worked out based on what has been built in each parish in the previous year, rather than where residents of those communities access services and infrastructure.

Mayor Councillor Duncan Kerr said: “If you look at the amount of money that’s now been given out since the start of the neighbourhood fund, I think it’s clear that places like Oswestry – which are strategic hubs for all the villages around but actually haven’t got a lot of development land – miss out significantly.

“Since the start of the neighbourhood fund, Oswestry town has had £52,000.

“By comparison Oswestry Rural has had £168,000 – three times as much, for a much smaller population.

“Selattyn and Gobowen have had £87,000, Llanymynech has had £67,000.

“Shrewsbury has had £1.5 million – 29 times as much (as Oswestry).

“Now I’m not begrudging that these communities need some funding.

“I’m just asking that we write to the Minister for Local Government asking him to review the formula to ensure that strategic settlements – where people come to the schools, come to the play facilities, come out from the villages as their strategic town – receive some proportion of the neighbourhood fund, and it doesn’t all go on the lottery of the boundaries as to just where that (development) land actually falls.”

Cllr Kerr said the proposed Innovation Park at Mile End was one example of a major Oswestry development which will in fact be over the parish boundary in Oswestry Rural.

Cllr Sandy Best said the fact much house building within the town was social housing, and that large housing sites are lying undeveloped, were the main reasons Oswestry was not receiving as much neighbourhood fund money as other communities.

She said: “I really think something has to be said very strongly.

"I think that we get treated like a poor cousin on many, many levels, and I for one am absolutely fed up of it.”

Planning committee chairman Mike Isherwood said that while the formula may make sense on paper, it was causing places like Oswestry to miss out.

Councillors voted to write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to request that the formula be reviewed.