A PLANNING blueprint has been slammed as providing the potential to bring unwanted development to Ludlow and south Shropshire.

Andy Boddington, member of Shropshire Council for Ludlow North, is concerned about proposals that he says fails to address the real problems and needs of the area and will spoil its special character.

He was responding to a planning document released by Shropshire Council outlining how to meet the needs of the county over the next two decades.

“This is an old-fashioned plan based on hopes and dreams rather than the realities of being a rural county,” he said.

“It looks north to an HS2 hub at Crewe, hoping to spill development associated with that railway junction into Shropshire.

“It looks east to Wolverhampton. It is desperate to extend the West Midlands conurbation beyond Telford across the green belt into the fields that make our county so attractive.

“This draft planning policy is far too dependent on what happens outside the county. It will live or fall on infrastructure developments over which we have no control.

“We should instead be concentrating on increasing our local skills and firing up new local businesses.”

He believes that a different approach is needed.

“This plan is not a smart growth agenda. Smart growth minimises transport and concentrates on increasing education, skills and entrepreneurship,” added Mr Boddington.

“Smart growth achieves higher income without sprawling housing estates and huge industrial sheds across the countryside.

“It embeds the environment and quality of life from day one. It champions sustainable transport and lower energy use.

“This draft planning policy is dumb growth, not smart growth.

“Any plan we set out for the next 20 years must look a century ahead. Where do we want to be? How do we want to live?”