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The above is from The Oswestry Town Plan, “an informed and influential guide to developers, setting out what matters most to local people” which expresses The Town Vision in which “important open spaces are protected and enhanced”.

So what does it show? An important open space that should be protected, for sure. But the setting of the hill fort? Absolutely not. Settings aren’t perfectly round. Nor can they be drawn on a map (they shouldn’t be confused with buffer zones round World Heritage Monuments) – they exist within the judgements of Planning Inspectors not on maps. Thus whoever drew the circle had neither the authority nor the ability to represent it as the setting – and didn’t claim it was.

So WHY did they draw that line just there, perfectly round (and offset so it is further from the hill fort in the North than the South?) What “informed and influential guide to developers” was it providing? In what way was it “setting out what matters most to local people”? We don’t know. But to repeat, it isn’t the setting for the reasons given and also because a setting as tiny as that for “one of the greatest archaeological monuments of the nation” would be a grotesque joke. By any basis of judgement the setting of that monument is far larger and building houses almost touching that circle as if it did portray the setting would be terribly wrong, don’t you agree campaigners and councillors? ‘Course you do! And yet ….



How did that happen? Where did the developers (and perchance some councillors) get the idea that building houses just there would be acceptable and would reflect what matters most to local people?


November 2013

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