Housing Analysis Starkly Misleading

Shropshire Council's Housing Analysis Starkly Misleading 

The presentation of housing figures proposed by Shropshire Council is starkly at odds with reality according to a thorough analysis of the local authority’s consultation results carried out by the Shropshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

Speaking at the organisation’s AGM last week, Charles Green presented an in-depth review of what Shropshire Council claims demonstrates support for its target of 28,750 new houses in the coming 20 years.  He explains:

“When Shropshire Council published summary results of last year’s consultations, we suspected that the figures had been heavily skewed to support its own agenda.  The Council provided us with its raw data and a root and branch examination of those figures followed.

“Simply, the results of the 2017 consultations show that 88% of the general public and 74% of Town and Parish Councils, prefer a housing target of 26,250 or even lower.  As a group, it’s only agents (acting for landowners and developers) who favour the highest growth option.  We also noticed that the agents’ support included multiple and repeated responses.  Indeed, in one instance, an agent had submitted 25 identical responses, all of which were included in the Council’s scores!”

Shropshire Council consulted twice in 2017 on its Partial Review of the Local Plan and a further round of targeted consultation is due to take place later in 2018 before a formal consultation on the published plan in 2019.  If given the go-ahead, the plan will be formally adopted in October 2020 and so, as Charles Green explains, now is the time to call the Council to question.

“This is not simply a case of the CPRE being against housing development – far from it.  We simply wish to see Shropshire protected and the right types of housing built in the right areas.

“Our analysis of the Council’s figures clearly demonstrates that both the general public, and Town and Parish Councils, are overwhelmingly in favour of lower growth rates than Shropshire Council is promoting, yet the council is pushing ahead with its plans regardless.

“Shropshire Council should take proper note of the views of its electorate and opt for the lower housing targets, rather than the currently high figure which is only supported by those in the development sector.  CPRE Shropshire has already made great strides in calling to account the actions of the council and we’d urge anyone who feels passionately about protecting this special county to get in touch, and to keep pressing the Council not to ignore its electorate.”