IN early June a letter was sent to the residents of Lineage Court, Burford, by Shropshire Council saying Harper Group Construction had applied for planning permission to build 33 homes on the land to the north of the A456 on a field immediately opposite Lineage Court.

This was subsequently reported in the Tenbury Advertiser in an article that advised that a housing association development of affordable housing, the breakdown of which would be 22 shared ownership homes and 11 social housing properties.

It was made quite clear that planning permission was likely to be granted.

While recognising the need for affordable housing to accommodate local young families, residents of properties in close proximity to the proposed development site had concerns they wished to raise and discuss.

Burford Parish Council kindly arranged a meeting, which was held on July 8 and attended by Parish Council members Cllr Richard Huffer, the developer, the architect and a housing association representative.

Of major concern was the density of housing on what is a relatively small site.

The architect produced the plans which looked pretty good. All homes are to be detached, without garages but providing two parking spaces per property.

However, there was little evidence of any public open spaces and there is no provision for any visitor parking.

Little thought appeared to have been given to ways to provide mothers and children safe passage across the busy and positively dangerous A456 and onto the pedestrian walkway, nor to the impact on wildlife currently to be observed on the development site and the wooded area behind it.

On three occasions the builder was asked the name of the owner of whose property he would be developing.

Twice he avoided giving an answer, but when pressed on this issue said he was not at liberty to say.

A subsequent Land Registry check has revealed that the owner is in fact Shropshire Council Legal Services.

Well now, why should the council be so coy about revealing this?

Did they perhaps think that people would suspect planning permission was a foregone conclusion and would go through on a nod and a wink between departments? Surely not!

Jim Keating


Tenbury Wells