THE Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is under threat as never before because of increasing noise from overflying aircraft and light pollution.

This is the view of Liberal Democrats in the county.

They say that the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty faces an increasing threat to its essential values.

“The latest assault has been a huge increase in aircraft noise and airliner traffic this year,” said Heather Kidd,” Shropshire councillor for Chirbury and Worthen and the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Ludlow.

“Through the summer there has been a relentless stream of planes with virtually continuous noise at sometimes of the day.

“There have been complaints from across the area. We are exploring ways of sorting this out, seeking an explanation, having the tranquillity of the Shropshire Hills restored.’’

Cllr Kidd noted that this is the latest deterioration in what is expected of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“Dark skies vanished many years ago,” she added.

“The Long Mynd Dark Skies experience is no longer available.

“From the Mynd, or The Stiperstones there are artificial glows all around the horizon. Even in valleys like the Frogs Gutter, artificial light pollutes the sky virtually up to the zenith.

“A good start would be to replace all lamps with wholly downward facing LEDs. Lib Dems on Shropshire Council have been campaigning for this for some time.

“New developments should have controlled and limited down facing lighting. Consideration should be given to time limited lighting controls.”

She believes that there has been a decline in wildlife, plants and flowers.

“Although wildlife, flora and fauna, receive much attention, decline has been monumental,” she added.

“Thirty or even 20 years ago, a summer drive would see the screen covered with insects.”