CONTROVERSIAL swales constructed on land off Roden Grove in Wem will soon be filled in after a retrospective planning application was rejected.

The construction of the swales on open space off Roden Grove has been a point of contention within both county and town councils, with councillors unhappy that they were constructed before planning permission was obtained.

Developers Fletcher Homes did not initially have permission to construct the swales, with the land set aside for the required amount of open space.

Planning services officer Ian Kilby refused the revised plans, citing a failure to provide an acceptable level of safe and usable functional recreational space as required by the council, despite the theoretical environmental benefits.

In his report, Mr Kilby said: "Despite the acknowledged environmental benefits the scheme may deliver, these environmental benefits are not outweighed by the social deficits the scheme will deliver by reducing the amount of accessible and functional open space that will remain available to local residents and public users of the space for recreation.

"Accordingly, when considered as a whole against the prevailing planning policies the development proposal is not considered to constitute sustainable development."

At Wem Town Council's full council meeting, held virtually on Thursday, June 24, town and county councillor Chris Mellings confirmed the swales would now be filled in.

He said: "The swales will be filled in before too long, [the developers] don’t intend to appeal.

"There’s no reason now why they can’t do that and the enforcement officer has been in touch with the developer too.