THERE is concern that planned development in Burford will put intolerable strain on services in Tenbury such as the GP surgery.

Burford is in south Shropshire and so the responsibility of Shropshire Council whilst Tenbury falls under the control of Malvern Hills District Council and Worcestershire County Council.

But it appears that there has not been enough collaboration between the authorities either side of the county line that is marked by the River Teme.

The concerns are about recent developments in Burford and what contribution they would be making to support Tenbury’s already stretched surgery and other services.

Councillor Bridget Thomas, who is one of the Tenbury representatives on Malvern Hills District Council, attended a Burford Parish Council meeting in an unsuccessful effort to clarify the situation.

In turn, Councillor Tony Penn, Tenbury’s other representative on Malvern Hills District Council, was told that there was no high level contact between the Planning Department at Malvern Hills District Council and the Shropshire unitary council.

After three months of investigation and help from Ian Ogley the Tenbury councillors discovered there was a published Draft Shropshire Local Plan that has been circulated to all Authorities on the Tenbury side of the river.

They learnt that Edward West, Planning Policy and Strategy Manager at Shropshire Council, did not receive any objection to the plan from Tenbury Town Council, Burford or Malvern Hills District Council as part of the recent consultation into the pre-submission version of the Local Plan for Burford.

Shropshire Council maintain that they have undertaken Duty to Cooperate discussions with Worcestershire County Council and Malvern Hills District Council, according to Councillor Penn.

“These have focussed on cross boundary and strategic infrastructure,” said Mr Penn.

“It was only when Tenbury’s two councillors put together the number of dwellings already underway and anticipated in Burford, together with developments already taking place and anticipated in Tenbury that they felt that a lot was happening ‘under the radar’ and for which Tenbury’s resources are unprepared.

“They number 274 over the river and 188 on the Tenbury side.

“A further matter that does not appear to be taken into consideration is the flood defences being developed for Tenbury.

“The Environment Agency has confirmed that the proposed defences will push flood water onto fields to the north of the River Teme. This could affect some of the proposed developments.”

The councillors have now been invited to a meeting to be held on Wednesday, June 9 in the Pump Rooms.

It is understood that David Chambers, Tenbury’s new County Councillor, will also be attending.

This follows a request by Cllr Richard Huffer, who represents Burford on Shropshire Council, who has now contacted Tenbury Town Council’s Clerk to discuss planning issues and Burford Parish Council.

It is understood that Burford’s Parish Council Clerk has resigned and its Chairman is stepping down, says Mr Penn.

“This whole situation is particularly sad as a Neighbourhood Plan for Tenbury and Burford’ was being developed many years ago,” Mr Penn added.

“Unusually, it involved two County Councils and was progressing well, but stalled in 2016.

“Had the document been completed and adopted many of the present issues would not have arisen.”

Although Burford is in south Shrophshire and is represented on Shropshire Council by Mr Huffer, who was recently re-elected for Clee ward, many of the people use shops, the GP surgery and other facilities over the bridge in Tenbury that is in Worcestershire.

Burford’s MP is Philip Dunne whilst Tenbury is represented in parliament by West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin.