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Paul Middleton said that although the housing figure would be quite a challenge to fulfil, it could prove to be a positive move for rural landowners.

The development forms part of Shropshire Council’s local plan review.

The council’s cabinet approved a consultation document last week, which will seek the views on the preferred scale and distribution of future developments across Shropshire.

The review includes building 28,750 homes across the county, while the consultation document also looks at employment growth.

The consultation period began last week and closes on December 22.

Mr Middleton, of rural surveyors and estate agents Roger Parry and Partners, said: “A housing figure of 28,750 across the county is quite a challenge to fulfil, that equates to a delivery rate of around 1,430 dwellings a year.

“It therefore follows there will need to be development in the rural areas to assist in meeting these targets, and this places great emphasis on the emerging Hierarchy of Settlements policy.”

The Hierarchy of Settlements document puts forward rural settlements that have gone through a screening process for size, population, service provision, internet links, transport links and employment opportunities.

Mr Middleton added: “If adopted, the Hierarchy of Settlements could provide opportunities for development that presently are not achievable, which is very positive indeed for rural landowners.

“We will of course be liaising closely with the council during the course of the consultation to ensure that our planning team are best placed to advise clients on the development opportunities, that will undoubtedly come to fruition in the future.”

The extra 10,347 houses are mostly planned for the towns in Shropshire, with 30 per cent planned for Shrewsbury, 24.5 per cent planned for the bigger towns such as Market Drayton, and Whitchurch, 18 per cent for smaller towns such as Much Wenlock and Bishop’s Castle, and 27.5 per cent for rural areas.

Ian Kilby, planning services manager, said: “In the recession there were about 800 houses built per year, and last year we had 1,910 delivered.

“It’s only a few years ago that next to no houses were being built.

“There was significantly more development last year than there was.”

But the council admitted that, as of this year, there were more than 11,000 cases where planning permission had been granted for homes where construction was yet to start.

Source: Shropshire Star

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