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Village told to 'get ready to fight' 800-home plan

Protestors in Albrighton
There was a protest on Thursday as developers prepared for a public consultation [BBC]

An action group has urged villagers to get ready to fight after more than 2,000 people signed a petition opposing a proposed housing development.

Residents in Albrighton, Shropshire, have begun a campaign to protest against Boningale Homes’s plans for 800 homes between Cross Road and Newhouse Lane.

Objectors fear the development, currently at the pre-planning stage, could increase the footprint of the village by more than 50%.

Boningale Homes hosted a public consultation event on Thursday and previously said the development would allow for high-quality living for future residents.

Albrighton
Campaigners said the development would increase the village's footprint by 50% [Albrighton Village Action Group]

Claire Lakin, spokesperson for the Albrighton Village Action Group, said: “This new proposal threatens our status as a village and will destroy our beautiful landscape, in this case protected green-belt land.

“At the same time, it will eliminate many of the reasons why people choose to live here.”

Resident Lilly Cockayne said she feared the village she grew up in was going to become "overpopulated" and she wanted her young son to grow up in the countryside and "breathe in the fresh air".

Meanwhile, Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for The Wrekin, said he would object to any planning application that was put forward “in the strongest possible terms”.

“I am not against new housing, but I am against any housing which is in the green belt and which has not been cleared in a local plan,” he added.

Lilly Cockayne
Resident Lilly Cockayne fears the village will become a town as a result of the planned development [BBC]

The development director for Boningale Homes, Dean Trowbridge, declined to be interviewed by the BBC on Thursday.

However, he had previously said there was a housing need in Shropshire, and they would build infrastructure, including a doctor's surgery.

The developers said they expect to submit plans to Shropshire Council in May.

This news was gathered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service which covers councils and other public service organisations.

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