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Clean air call as Shifnal group protests over development plans - with pictures

By Sue Austin | Shifnal | News | Published:

Shifnal residents from babies to pensioners have protested about proposals that could bring 5,000 new homes and two big industrial parks to the area.

Shifnal Matters members mark Clean Air Day

The Shifnal Matters group took to the streets of the town on Saturday with home made placards and posters to mark national Clean Air Day and to campaign against the developments.

Organiser John Moore said they realised more housing and employment land was needed but said greenbelt land was not the place for it.

John Moore

"These proposals could mean two industrial sites both the size of about 85 football pitches, off Stanton Road and two housing developments, one for 2,000 homes another for 3,000.

"They will put more and more traffic onto the roads which will lead to breathing problems for our children. I am not saying we should do without cars but they need to be in the right place."

Vicky Connolly, at the demonstration with the eldest of her two children, three-year-old Beatrice, said the family moved to Shifnal from Wolverhampton 12 years ago.

"We moved for a future in the country among green fields. Now they want to take away that green land," she said.

Three-year-old Beatrice Connelly

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"Shifnal already has major traffic problems. Walking along the pavements in the town centre is so scary with the children."

Many of those protesting said the town did not have enough infrastructure for the houses already built.

Jacqueline Horton-Darby said: "Shifnal cannot cope with any more traffic, it has enough problems already. And we need more doctors. Getting an appointment at the surgery can take weeks."

Marking Clean Air Day

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Kath Hemsley said Shifnal seemed to be facing losing its greenbelt when the neighbouring Wolverhampton authority had ringfenced its green belt.

"There are so many brown fields sites out there that could be used for housing and industry," she said.

The problems are not just being felt in Shifnal but in neighbouring Albrighton and Tong, residents said.

One of the young protestors

The chairman of Tong parish council, Paul Fisher, said: "Our infrastructure cannot cope as it is. People travelling from our side of Wolverhampton are using our roads to get to their jobs on Halesfield and other parts of Telford."

Matthew Fennell-Fox said Shifnal had grown by 25 per cent over the last 10 years and was set to grow by much more than that in the next decade.

"We could have housing developments the size Shifnal is now and employment land the size of Albrighton," he said.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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