Council request agency to withdraw Shawbirch employment site application

Telford & Wrekin Council is to ask the Government agency behind an outline planning application for employment development on a site at Shawbirch to withdraw the application.

The land at Shawbirch is owned by the Government Agency Homes England and the application before the Council has been made on behalf of this Government agency.

This is an allocated site for employment use most recently re-confirmed within the approved Telford and Wrekin Local Plan, which was formally adopted in January 2018 and was subject to extensive consultation and planning inquiry. The principle of development of the site for employment uses is established. Development use was established over 40 years ago in the early days of the new town.

Any specific proposed use of the land would require a separate, new planning application. Issues relating to scale, layout, external appearance,landscaping, impact on the environment and road network would be considered as part of that application if detailed proposals are submitted.

The Shawbirch site is one of the Government’s and the region’s largest employment sites and as such is seen as a major investment site. There has been strong interest in the land from a number of companies.

Council leader Shaun Davies said: “It is clear that the outline application being made in respect of the site has caused considerable concern among residents and councillors.

“Having spoken with Cllrs Bill Tomlinson, Karen Tomlinson and Karen Blundell and my own cabinet at length about their concerns, I have asked Council officers to suggest to the Government agency to withdraw this application.

“It is, of course, important to recognise, as many do including local councillors, that this land is designated for employment use and has been for over 40 years – but any development that may come forward in future must be appropriate and subject to a specific planning application and to consultation.”