Councillor Richard Huffer calls for inquiry into Clee Hill planning debacle

Councillor Richard Huffer calls for inquiry into Clee Hill planning debacle

Last week, a developer on Clee Hill built fencing against decades old housing on Tenbury Road. That has prevented residents opening their windows. Media reports even suggest that the developer has told residents that if they open the windows on the back of their homes, they will be trespassing.

Richard Huffer who represents Clee on Shropshire Council has been working to resolve these issues over the last few years. Last Wednesday, he sent an urgent message to the most senior officer in Shropshire Council’s planning department asking for action “urgently before this escalates with potential harm and further media coverage.” There is now both harm and media coverage. He is now calling for an inquiry by a council scrutiny committee into the planning department’s actions on this scheme.

From Richard Huffer:

Over the last week, the developer of Springfield Park has erected fencing across the back windows of the residents of Tenbury Road. Although Shropshire Council has issued a media statement this is temporary, no one locally trusts the developer to keep to his word.

All the council is offering is discussions between residents and the developer over ‘the way forward.’ There have been a lot of discussions between the developers and the residents in recent years but all that happens is that the developers do what they want anyway.

Shropshire Council has always wanted this problem to go away rather than dealing with it. But it is at fault in allowing this situation to continue. Residents are stressed out. This was a preventable situation. The developer may have been encouraged by planners recommending approval for three homes built in breach of planning permission. The Southern Planning Committee decided to refuse permission because they were built at too high a level (20/04700/VAR). They loom high over the existing housing. But the council hasn’t taken any planning enforcement action since the committee’s decision.

The recent developments at Springfield Park on Clee Hill have been a disaster. The housing at the top of the site has had a significant impact on neighbours, blocking views and reducing light. There has been more stress and anxiety over this development than any other I can recall. It is ruining the quality of life of existing residents. They can’t open windows or use the rear windows of their properties as a fire escape route.

The most recent housing in this development seem to have been built without any planning control. It appears that the developer can put anything, anywhere without as much as a slap of the wrist from Shropshire Council. What is the point of having planning rules if they are not enforced?”

The first planning permission was awarded for Springfield Park 1989. On 13 April 2021, the Southern Planning Committee considered a retrospective application for the three highest plots closest to the centre of the village. Despite planning officers recommending approval, members of the committee resolved to reject the application:

“That contrary to Officer recommendation planning permission be refused for the following reason: The raising of the level of the dwelling houses on Plot Nos. 1, 2 and 3 would give rise to an unacceptable impact on the residential amenity of the neighbouring properties to the west of the site by virtue their overbearing nature and overlooking, contrary to Policy CS6 of the Shropshire Local Development Framework Adopted Core Strategy (March 2011). “

This image taken before the fencing was erected
shows how the new housing looms over existing buildings
Fencing being erected last week
View from a Tenbury Road property

One thought on “Councillor Richard Huffer calls for inquiry into Clee Hill planning debacle

  1. Keep fighting.

    As you say, “What is the point of having planning rules if they are not enforced?” I might add “What is the point of having planning officers if they do not do their job?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the Captcha *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top