PLANS for 25 affordable homes in Wem were refused following numerous concerns raised by the case officer, as well as objections from both the town council and local residents.

The outline application, for the land to the west of Swain Close, Wem, was submitted in May 2023, and since then it has faced a lot of criticism.

The applicant, Maelor Homes Ltd, explained in a planning statement that Shropshire Council Housing Officers have confirmed that there is a gap of 85 affordable homes in Wem.


They added: “The outline planning application is submitted in respect of 23 dwellings all of which will be affordable housing.

“These proposals will contribute significantly to meeting evidenced local need for entry level affordable housing including a range of affordable housing types in a sustainable location whilst respecting the surrounding area and enhancing biodiversity on the subject site.”

The current application specifies a mix of two, three, and over four-bedroom homes.

However, the case officer, Kelvin Hall, concluded that the application should be refused.

He explained that they acknowledged that there is an area of public open space, but that the houses would only be connected via a short section of path.

He added: “Part of this open space area lies within Flood Zones 2 and 3.

“The open space would be poorly located in relation to the houses, would not be well-connected in relation to other publicly accessible areas; and would not benefit from natural surveillance from residents which would enhance security and public safety”

Furthermore, he highlighted that the main issues include planning policy context and principle of development, sitting, scale and design, residential, local amenity, highways, ecological and flood risk and drainage considerations.

Wem Town Council recognised the need for affordable housing but objected to this application.

They said: “The application has changed considerably since the pre application proposals in 2020 and it is the Town Council's opinion that there is not a need for an exception site of this nature as there are more suitable brownfield sites closer to amenities within the town that should be prioritised for affordable housing.”

Wem Civic Society also protested to the new housing development.

They commented: “There is a need for more well-built and well-designed social housing within the area.

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“Such housing needs to be sited within easy reach of facilities and integrated into the existing built environment.

“Simply dumping an estate next to an existing estate, ad infinitum, is not good planning - it is a dereliction of duty by both developer and planner.”

A total of 15 residents also sent in letters of objection which raised the following concerns: lack of infrastructure, unsuitable roads, impact on ecology, area floods, security issues due to lack of street lighting in local area, increased noise and pollution, impact on adjacent houses from overlooking, overshadowing and overbearing and many more.