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Local council objects to 350-home plan for Telford

Telford | News | Published:

Three hundred and fifty new houses could be built a mile west of Telford town centre, despite objections from the parish council and the borough’s own tree specialist.

The Lawley Village Developer Group has applied to go ahead with phases five and nine of their 11-stage, 20-year “Sustainable Urban Extension” project.

Lawley and Overdale Parish Council, who called in the application to ensure a full public hearing, argue it will worsen the area’s traffic problems and deprive it of right-of-way footpaths.

Telford and Wrekin Council’s arboricultural specialists also raised concerns about the tree-felling and replanting process, and the impact an eight-metre-high retaining wall will have on the remaining trees.

In a report due to go before the planning committee on Wednesday, council officers said the homes would be split between the phase five site, which measures six acres, north of the Wrekin Way footpath, the 27-acre phase nine site south of it.

Outline planning permission for the Lawley Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) project as a whole was granted in 2005, and to date 2,000 houses have been built or are being built.

Phases five and nine will comprise 65 two-bedroom homes, 163 three-beds, 102 four-beds and 32 with five bedrooms. Of these, 44 homes – all with either two or three bedrooms – are classed as “affordable housing provision”.

The report said: “The site has a marked slope in a westerly direction with a fall of approximately 18 metres from the most easterly boundary to the furthest westerly boundary.

“It is largely open across the centre of the site, with hedges and visually prominent copses of trees around the eastern boundary with several others visible within the northern area phase nine.

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“It is proposed to remove the majority of the existing trees that line the south-eastern, eastern and north-eastern edges of the site, the reason provided by the applicant being the necessity to level parts of the site due to its sloping nature.

“The eastern parts of the site are steepest and there is a requirement to install a retaining wall structure where trees currently exist to stabilise the site.

“The retaining wall would be approximately 450 metres in length and would vary in height from two up to eight metres.”

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At an earlier stage in the application process, Telford and Wrekin Council trees and woodlands officer Matthew Seabrook wrote: “Trees within this application do not appear to have been given full consideration during this process.

“Alterations in soil levels and changes in current water courses currently in situ that feed the trees to be retained in the landscape post development require further consideration as there is currently no detail regarding this.

“Pre-site preparation tree works will clearly be required on site and this also requires detail.

“As far as arboricultural specifications and requirements goes, this application leaves a great deal to be desired.”

Lawley and Overdale Parish Council has also objected to the plan, with “insufficient and contradictory information regarding the number of trees affected” cited as one of their reasons.

In their letter, they add that there are five “well-used and long-established public rights of way directly affected by the proposals, including the Wrekin Way”, and that the new homes would add traffic and have an “unacceptable impact” on the road network and primary school.

By Alex Moore, local democracy reporter

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