Heritage Daily is an independent online magazine for archaeological and associated disciplines, dedicated to the heritage and historical sector. In a recent feature on hillforts they point out that: “There are around 3,300 structures that can be classed as hillforts or similar “defended enclosures” in Britain” and they present a list of the ten most impressive examples.

The second one on that list is Old Oswestry. They describe it as “one of Britain’s most spectacular and impressive early Iron Age hill forts in the Welsh Marches near Oswestry in north west Shropshire. It remains one of the best preserved hill forts in the UK …. with stunning panoramic views across North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.”

The above counts for nothing in planning law – the place is scheduled and has a setting, that’s all. But on the other hand it is something that Oswestry and Shropshire councillors should keep in mind. If they vote to damage the setting in any way they are not damaging something inconsequential that is hidden away unregarded in North Shropshire, but something that is important in both national and world terms.

Let them not delude themselves about the scale of what they would be doing – or that just a small amount of damage wouldn’t matter. Never mind the talk, which of them was elected to put an estate of houses just here? >>>>

.OSH

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A Comment from Trish Farrell:

Well said. Everyone needs to email their concerns to the portfolio holder for Planning at Shropshire Council, Cllr Malcolm Price at: Malcolm.Price@shropshire.gov.uk This is also part of a national disgrace the National Planning Policy Framework that is overriding all previous consultations between councils and their constituents over allocations of development land under SAMDev and similar.

NPPF apparently states that if councils do not have a 5 year land supply then any policy they have set down will be overruled by the NPPF’s presumption if favour of development. Shropshire currently has a small short fall which means its Core Strategy policies cannot stand. It seems that Mr Price is as unhappy with this situation as anyone else. He makes this plain in an interview on Radio Shropshire. Go to 2h13m at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01np5y6 to hear his comments.

Then you need email the Minister for Planning Nick Bowles. All this is contributing/underlining the Old Oswestry situation. The NPPF basically opens the door to developers. If they do not get what they want they can threaten councils with judicial reviews which will then mean huge financial penalties at public expense. Since communities all over Shropshire are in uproar over what is happening to them (E.g. Shifnal now earmarked for 1600 houses way beyond what the community agreed with Shropshire Council), you may understand how Shropshire Council’s hands are now tied.

Finally, if you think this is all wrong, write to your MP – wherever you live.

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and a Comment from Diana Baur:

Speechless with frustration about the appalling way democracy – if it ever was around – has effectively been binned – and by a coalition government – what hope is there. Can smell the leather of jackboots oozing all over this.

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