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The love just grows and grows for Old Oswestry hillfort.
Shropshire councillors may have voted to throw open its ancient landscape to development, but defiant residents will be scaling its ramparts on Valentine’s Day in a hug of protection for the Iron Age icon.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural hug, campaign group HOOOH is staging a weekend of events embracing the archaeology and landscape of one of Britain’s most celebrated hillforts.
Running February 13 and 14, the Old Oswestry Hug Weekend will include a heritage seminar, craft workshops, art exhibitions, music event, as well as a mass hug of the hillfort itself.
Expanding on its well-received seminar in 2014, HOOOH will be hosting a full day symposium in Oswestry’s Memorial Hall on Saturday 13 February. Invited speakers will explore Old Oswestry’s multi-faceted archaeology and heritage landscape as well as modern-day planning threats to it.
The hillfort hug will take place from 1pm on Sunday 14 February, culminating in a procession along the ramparts with lights and drums. It attracted over 450 people last year and was supported by a national social media campaign, #hugyourheritage, created by the Council of British Archaeology.
HOOOH is also delighted to announce that the hug event is being supported by a number of local artists with an exciting series of exhibitions under the banner ‘Artists Hugging Old Oswestry Hillfort’ (AHH!).
Members of art groups, Inside Out Art and Borderland Visual Arts, are busy creating artwork, including paintings, sculpture, textiles and jewellery, inspired by the 3,000-year-old monument and its landscape. Many will be on display in time for the hug weekend.
From February 1 to April 4, Oswestry’s Heritage & Visitor Centre will be showing an exhibition of AHH! work entitled ‘Views of, and on, Old Oswestry Hillfort’.
Oswestry arts venue, Hermon, will also be showcasing a number of AHH! installations during February and will be hosting drum and light-making workshops on February 6 and 13. It is also staging ‘Hillfort Live’, an evening of ‘hillfort-centric’ music and performance on February 13 from 7.30pm.
A third exhibition will run at Oswestry’s Willow Gallery from April 23 to May 21, incorporating photos and film of this year’s hug.
Campaigner Dr George Nash said: “This is yet again another extremely visual display by the people of Shropshire and the Borderlands showing their support for this iconic monument. Let’s hope Shropshire Council with its new leader can see and hear what the people are saying, which is simply ‘No’ to development.”
Llanarmon-based artist Diana Baur, spokesperson for AHH!, said: “Local artists are making works that reference the hillfort, visually expressing its importance for future generations and the fight to protect its setting. Plans are being laid for the exhibition to then travel further afield linking to other areas where our national heritage is threatened.”
HOOOH is campaigning against the reassignment of the hillfort’s eastern hinterland – and heart of Oswestry’s heritage gateway – for an estate of 117 houses. Despite overwhelming opposition and calls from the highest echelons of British archaeology to reject the development, it was recently approved by Shropshire Council on the SAMDev local plan.
Sue Brooke updates us on the latest threat to Caerau hillfort in Cardiff. This story was originally published on her own website.
Well, here I am again. Mrs Angry from Caerau has raised her ugly head once more. Over the last nine years or so I have bored everyone close to me to distraction about that triangular shaped field in Caerau. It’s important. I used to spend hours wandering around up there trying to figure out what all the lumps and bumps were about. I researched it and learned loads about what it all meant. I kept the whole thing as quiet as possible from the public domain so that the area would remain protected due to it being preserved mostly in public record at that time. Eventually I started to share some of this locally, working with the children and young people of the local schools. This was primarily to keep the crumbling remains of St. Mary’s Church as safe as possible.
Then along came Cardiff University. To be honest they were a little behind me in this research but, eventually and not without some fear I talked with them about it. They had lots of money that they were willing to invest in this area and they were able to engage with the public in far greater ways than me. Eventually this triangular shaped field of ‘mine’ was to be given a little bit of status as an Iron Age (at least) hill fort.
If you know about this then you will know that hot on their heels came Time Team. They came, they made a mess and a telly programme then they left. All stuff designed to give this little old lady in Caerau a little bit of the wobbles. I had massive reservations about all of this. I was accused of ‘selling out’ by allowing myself to become involved in this. Overall my fears were allayed and, although the area has been mucked about with by young ladies and young men digging holes, it has actually been really beneficial to the local communities of Ely and Caerau. Cardiff University formed the CAER Heritage Project and they worked their socks off in order to engage residents in the whole of their work. What Time Team did, on your 55 inch flat screen telly, was to tell the whole of Ely and Caerau what an amazingly valuable historical monument they lived alongside. Thank you for that.
The church of St Mary, long a victim of vandalism was now being looked after. There are people involved in this who have pursued Cardiff Council and persuaded them to help keep the remains of this historic building together. They have given up their time to tidy up the area, to log the graves and to generally give this church the respect it has so sadly been missing out on.
Overall the community has benefitted. The view from the hill fort is amazing when you look out towards Cardiff. The CAER Heritage Project believe this to be an area that would have been important to Cardiff itself. Of course, my endless research means I disagree with this – not entirely but my belief is and always has been that the hill fort would have been more better placed as part of what is now the Vale of Glamorgan and valued as such.
A few years ago changes began to happen. A solar park was to be built quite close to the site. It would be fine, we were reassured. This won’t be visible from the hill fort and will not detract from the beautifully serene surrounds one bit, they said. Unfortunately the building of this solar park caused some major issues for those living on the approach road. Let’s set this in to some kind of context. As you walk toward the track that leads from Caerau all the way to Michaelston le Pit you will need to walk underneath the A4232 Ely Link Road. Sadly, way back at the end of the 1970’s this road was built by cutting around the hill fort site. It’s no longer possible to walk up-and-over as we used to as kids, but hey, way back then we didn’t really know any better, did we?
This bit of Caerau is such an excellent resource for the local people. It’s usual to see dog walkers, horse riders, the footballing kids of the future and joggers all wandering along to make use of the area. Families wander through as well as groups of children and young people off to have fun on their own. I was one of these children once, having lived all my life nearby.
This lovely tree lined, although slightly narrow road, takes you from Caerau down toward the link road. The hill fort area is surrounded by beautifully managed woods, protected as a special area and inhabited by the most amazing birds and wildlife. Even slow worms like it in there. The homes along Heritage Drive, just off Cwrt yr Ala Road were built on the site of the old Caerau Isolation Hospital.
Sadly this was built within the banks and ditches of the Caerau hill fort. But hey, we didn’t know any better then, did we?
As I just mentioned a solar park was planned. Renewable energy they said. Yes, a few solar panels in the field and most certainly not visible from the hill fort. They actually forgot to mention that the construction of this amazing solar park would mean driving lorries, very quickly, in a dust raising, dirty and frankly quite dangerous manner along Cwrt yr Ala Road. That lovely quiet tree lined but slightly narrow road in the image above. Most residents took this on the chin. It was good for the environment wasn’t it, to get away from the smoking chimneys of the coal-fired power stations.
Everyone wants renewable sources of energy, don’t they? I’ve since learned from a friend that should you have solar panels on farmland then it’s wise that you keep animals out of the field as you can’t really sell them on later or even, it is my understanding, use the field for agricultural purposes for some years after the panels have been removed. I could be wrong on this or hey, maybe I just don’t know any better.
I was up at the hill fort only recently. It’s still so lovely up there but obviously, since the trees are now without their leaves, it is possible to see the Ely Link Road. And, surprise surprise, you can see the solar farm.
Now, and this is the bit that is really making me rather very angry, I have learned – via social media – that we are now going to have – guess what ? OK, that’s unfair, how could you know – I didn’t – a LANDFILL SITE. Yes, that’s correct. Now, this is not your black bag rubbish type tip, this is an ‘inert waste’ tip. What exactly does ‘inert waste’ mean? So, for the next 5 to 6 years up to 20 lorries, very quickly, in a dust raising, dirty and frankly quite dangerous manner will be driving along Cwrt yr Ala Road each day. That’s up to 40 journeys along this lovely quiet tree lined but slightly narrow road.
I’m really pleased to be able to say that the local Labour Councillor for the area is doing his level best to stop this happening. Indeed the Welsh Lib Dem AM for South Wales Central and spokesperson on Enterprise, Transport, Europe and Business has assured me that she will ‘look into it’ but in the meantime the Vale of Glamorgan Council has, in their recent report on this completely outrageous planning application – available online and therefore well within the public domain – given me the opportunity to give you some quotes. In fairness I suggest you check this out for yourselves but, in the meantime here are a couple of my favourites:
The site is located in open countryside and within the Cwrt yr Ala Basin Special Landscape Area as defined within the Unitary Development Plan. The site also lies within the boundaries of the derelict mineral site, the former Ely Brickworks. In addition it is noted that the Caerau Wood hill fort, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, is located to the north of the site within the neighbouring Cardiff Council Local authority area.
In terms of impact upon Vale residents this would be very limited as there is no residential development, within the Vale, close to the proposed site. With regard to impact upon Cardiff residents, and any significant effect on the environment by virtue of the nature, size and location of the development this is a decision for the Local Planning Authority (LPA)
So, there you are then. To me that translates as – yes, we know it’s an important area and we acknowledge this but let’s quickly move on. The second quote means that there are of course housing developments nearby but, come on, they are in Cardiff, not the Vale of Glamorgan so that doesn’t matter to us. In fact, just so you know and I may of course be pointing out the obvious here, there are many property websites used by estate agents and prospective buyers who will pick up on things like transport links, schools and, obviously, landfill sites. I’m not sure but I worry that the residents of the very beautiful vale village of Michaelston le Pit may find out that this may also affect them – just by being in quite close proximity to this tip site. In fact I spoke with an established and respected estate agent only this morning who advised me that although this may not actually bring down the price of a property nearby immediately it will certainly not improve it. The advice was to consult further with a surveyor. That’s not really what I wanted to hear and I am sure that nearby residents won’t be happy to hear the financial implications upon their hard earned mortgaged properties should they decide to sell.
I would suggest that there will be major concerns from Cardiff Council and their residents once this very well kept secret becomes public knowledge. I really hope so. The enjoyment of all to access the area from Cwrt yr Ala Road towards Michaelston le Pit will be impacted on, most certainly. The right of the Cwrt yr Ala residents to enjoy their homes will most certainly be negatively affected, I know this as I lived through the delight of the solar park development. The access to the hill fort and the 12th century church for community groups will be restricted and, perhaps the work to preserve the tower of the old church could be seriously undermined by these vehicles shaking the living daylights out of it. That would be such a shame for all those who clearly care so much about it. What about Caerau (Ely) AFC – their ethos of ‘ Working With the Ely Community, For the Ely Community ‘ could be seriously affected by safety issues. I’m sure it won’t be safe to be toddling along there trying to dodge these vehicles for the next, what was it – 5 to 6 years?
So what can be done? I’m not too sure really. Perhaps we can suggest that the Vale of Glamorgan Council may want to consider other options for this ‘inert waste’ landfill site. Perhaps, let’s just think a minute – the residents of Dinas Powys would be happy for it to be placed just a bit further over.
That other hill fort area known as Cwm George has plenty of room. I bet not many people use this – just a couple of walkers, now and then – and the Woodland Trust won’t mind, surely? Or, perhaps, what about that stretch of beach adjacent to Sully Island? Hardly anyone goes there. The residents of Sully wouldn’t even notice. Yes, I agree that these are areas of special interest and so very important to the residents but isn’t Caerau of equal value?
There is just one little final quote that I will share with you. I visited Cosmeston Lakes Country Park today and went in to the little shop to buy a book on the history of this area. On the wall, right in front of me was this final quote from the Vale of Glamorgan Council. It read – and I quote ‘A sad chapter in Cosmeston’s history saw the quarry used for several years as a landfill site for household waste’. The little book I purchased for £4 completed this with ‘Permission to tip household rubbish on the west side of Mile End Road was granted to Penarth Urban District Council in 1964 (with some waster tipping already underway several years before that).’
So, please tell me – does this mean that the Vale of Glamorgan Council recognise that they really DO know better?
88% of people oppose harming the hillfort. No surprise there then! But paradoxically the poll may bring comfort to those who do want to harm it for it implies that the purpose of building houses there is to tackle the housing shortage. It isn’t. It’s a lie. It’s about some people wanting to be made very rich and a lot of others wanting to help them, for reasons unknown. It’s a fact, there are loads of other sites in and around Oswestry and 40,000 acres of open land within ten miles, all of which would be less damaging to develop. (Oh, and the national and local housing shortage is of starter homes. The ones planned for Oswestry Hillfort’s setting will be mainly expensive executive units!).
So a better poll question would be: “Is the behaviour of Shropshire Council a disgrace? YES/NO.” The fact their old Leader departed under a cloud which they blatantly tried to minimise was merely one of many previous actions lending them a wild west image and the new Leader lost no time in disgracing them further – twice. He told the world “No-one in this council wants to do anything that is detrimental to the hillfort” just before the whole Council voted to do exactly that! He also excused them with the words “The inspector has concluded that the Shropshire Site Allocations and Management of Development Plan is sound, legally compliant”, which implies it’s OK because, like metal detectorists bleat when they target unprotected archaeology, “it’s legal, innit?” If they get their way that’s how they’ll go down in history – people saying it’s legal in order to divert from the fact it is also absolutely, avoidably, definitely, categorically, politically, morally wrong!
Incidentally here’s something else the Shropshire Star could ask its readers to consider. A couple of years ago the Chairman of the National Trust wrote: “Town-and-country planning has been one of the great achievements of 20th-century Britain. It has guarded some80 per cent of the land area as rural in one of the most densely populated yet generously housed countries in Europe.” ….. however: “the presumption in favour of sustainable development, defined merely as profitable, is the most philistine concept in planning history”. What does that say about Shropshire Council, which has applied that presumption more insistently and obnoxiously than any other Council in Britain?
But let’s not forget the role of Historic England. They’ve been indispensable to Operation Screw the Fort for Cash. Why does that seem so shocking? Probably because they’re a national organisation, clear of local politics (though not of cowardice in the face of the enemies of heritage some say!) To be fair to them, they defended themselves last November: “We recognise that this is a sensitive location and we still have concerns about design and numbers of houses”. Hmmm, super, still have concerns about the design and numbers of houses do you? But why don’t you tell the ladies and gentlemen of the Public what the Inspector said: “Notwithstanding the level of opposition to the inclusion of site OSW004, Historic England has not maintained an objection, a consideration that I afford considerable weight.” So your failure to object seems to have directly helped stuff the hillfort, and the only person on Earth who knows if that’s true says yes it is, which leaves any denial or defence by you looking simply undignified.
Worse, by saying you have misgivings about size and layout you have handed the damagers a golden ticket. They can simply agree to change the specifications, secure in the knowledge they then will get your approval! So it’s no good you trying to calm the anger by suggesting it’s not a “done deal” yet. You probably had it in your power to ensure there was no deal, and didn’t, and now you’re left with only the chance to nitpick about the number of bedrooms.
So Shropshire has been ill-served, not just by the odious behaviour of its Council but also by England’s Historic Environment “champion”. There’s an excellent satirical piece in “The Pipeline” this week which isn’t a million miles from reality: “Meanwhile a spokesperson for the senior management of Historic England explained that, while the organisation had some reservations about demonic machines from the deepest circle of hell defining Government planning policy, it stood by the conclusion of its Historic Environment Impact Assessment that any damage to the historic environment done by Satan and all his Fiends was limited and was outweighed by the benefits.”
Tomorrow Shropshire Council will finally decide whether to damage the setting of Oswestry Hillfort. Many people will attend and the tireless “Hands off Old Oswestry Hillfort” has just issued them with a stirring call to arms There’s little we can usefully add except to wish well to all those who wish the hillfort well.
But maybe we could say one thing to the councillors, if any of them read the Journal. (They do!). It’s this: HOOOH has said that the circumstances surrounding their Council Leader and his recent departure mean that if the councillors approve the hillfort estate the Council will be forever tainted with doubts over the integrity of its decisions. Nowhere are the reputations of all concerned more clearly shown to be in jeapardy than in the words which the Council Leader voiced in the press on behalf of the Council last June:
Yes, you read it right ladies and gentlemen of the Council! He said you knew the public opposition was huge so you decided to approve the development so that the public could better express its opposition! Well Councillors, that was outrageous, wasn’t it? But now the public and its nationally prominent experts have taken up your invitation to express their opposition and they have done so in full – and in doing so have demolished every one of your pro-development arguments to a forensic level of detail. So perhaps now it’s time for you to accept what everyone else can see and to begin to recover your reputations. We sincerely hope you will opt to enjoy your first guiltless Christmas for years!
A press release from our friends at Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort:
The year started with a Valentine’s Day heritage hug, a protective ring around the Iron Age hillfort of Old Oswestry, in North Shropshire, under threat of housing nearby. But 2015 is set to end in bitter protest as campaigners descend on Shropshire Council’s seat of power where it is due to approve the ‘hillfort estate’ on its local plan.
On December 17, defiant campaigners will stage a demonstration at Shirehall, Shrewsbury, as councillors arrive to ratify SAMDev, Shropshire’s planning blueprint to 2026. It includes a fiercely opposed site for 117 houses (OSW004) that will breach a long-respected town boundary triggering further urban enclosure of the scheduled hillfort.
Organised by HOOOH (Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort), the demonstration is being publicised via the group’s national network of supporters and a social media campaign #InDefenceOfOldOswestry.
It follows Inspector Claire Sherratt’s verdict after examining SAMDev that OSW004 would “lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of a designated asset.”
Historic England and Shropshire Council have both come under fire from campaigners for signing a statement of common ground agreeing to development subject to master-planning conditions.
HOOOH member Neil Phillips said: “Shropshire Council may be hoping to sign over our heritage to the bulldozer and escape the fallout during the Christmas break. But we have a prominent legal firm briefed and ready to launch a judicial review if OSW004 remains in SAMDev.”
He continued: “The Old Oswestry campaign has never been a Nimby or anti-housing protest. It has only ever been about the heritage. During consultation, stakeholders including Oswestry Town Council asked Shropshire planners to review housing sites in Oswestry and implement better protection for the hillfort setting, but they have refused.”
Campaigners say that Shropshire Council is making Old Oswestry an unnecessary victim of over-ambitious housing targets which do not reflect local demand yet are giving developers leverage to target the most precious spaces.
“This is a fight by the community to protect a much loved place of escape and recreation, and an asset of immeasurable heritage, community and tourism value,” said campaigner John Waine. “It is also a national fight to protect the rightful territory of one of Britain’s most important hillforts which, incredibly, is at risk under the new NPPF. A loss at Old Oswestry could see diggers bearing down on landscapes of heritage, environmental and cultural importance across the country.”
The proposals have been opposed through several stages of consultation by thousands, including residents across Shropshire, local stakeholders, prominent heritage experts, national organisations and concerned observers around the globe.
Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe and other eminent archaeological academics wrote an open letter last December to the UK government objecting to OSW004. They state: “If the bar for acceptable development under the NPPF does not protect the setting of even our most significant heritage sites, then we set a potentially calamitous precedent for the greater part of the nation’s historic environment.”
HOOOH says that the December 17 demonstration is also about failed localism. While the hillfort site has attracted overwhelming opposition, Oswestry residents are still facing the prospect of development within one of their most valued neighbourhood spaces.
Maggie Rowlands of HOOOH said: “Ratifying OSW004 on Shropshire’s local plan is a golden ticket to build, for which each and every Shropshire councillor will shoulder responsibility. If this housing estate goes up, we will be reminded every day of their decision to ignore the overwhelming consensus of the public and the most qualified opinions of British archaeology. Every day, local electors will be hit in the face by their legacy – a growing wedge of bricks and concrete obliterating the ancient green landscape intrinsic to the hillfort’s value and beauty.”
She added: “It is not too late to say ‘no’. Local stakeholders are keen to sit down right now to resolve housing delivery which doesn’t jeopardise this national treasure of British heritage.”
The ‘In Defence Of Old Oswestry’ demonstration takes place at 9am on Thursday 17 December on the steps of Shirehall, Shrewsbury.
HOOOH is urging people to sign up and follow the countdown to the protest on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/OldOswestryHillfort/
“Old Oswestry Hillfort” said it all on Facebook:
“But beware! On Thursday 17th December, the Council will be hoping to dumb down another looming error of judgement – one that flies in the face of the public they purport to serve and the express opinion of the country’s most qualified heritage experts.”
In some ways Council Leader Keith Barrow is the gift that keeps on giving for the dismal independent repugnate of Shropshireland. It is not specifically he who wants to damage a nationally important scheduled monument. It is the Council. Now that he has been found guilty of breaching the Council’s code of conduct the public is naturally calling for his resignation but that’s where the danger lies. If he succeeds in hanging on, people will think he’s the main problem. He isn’t. Worse, if (as seems far more likely) the Council throws him out they will seek to imply the stink has departed with him. But it won’t have.
Let the Campaign not focus on Mr Barrow. Let it focus on Shropshire Council (and indeed Heritage England) for supporting the unsupportable.
Shropshire Council’s grubby machinations wouldn’t normally attract attention beyond Shropshireland. However, they’ve voted to damage a nationally significant monument in defiance of national advice so they’re under national scrutiny. So let it be noted they’ve just found their Leader guilty of offending against “the principles of Integrity, Honesty and Leadership” in their Code of Conduct but that he remains Leader! His only punishment is that he must attend “training” to ensure such “oversight” is avoided in the future. Will that help Oswestry hillfort? You decide.
Meanwhile, the evidence they’ve made a huge misjudgement on the hillfort grows ever greater and creeps ever closer. A recent appeal decision in Bredon, Worcestershire involves the same basic issues: would a housing development within the setting of a listed building and an historic monument cause more harm than benefit? The Inspector there ruled yes. The significance of that is that anyone who knows both places will know that by any honest measure the harm at Oswestry would be far greater than what has been judged unacceptable at Bredon (by both an Inspector and Worcestershire Council!)
Perhaps, nevertheless, they’ll still insist it’s chalk and cheese and far more complex than the campaigners and distinguished national experts are saying. If so that may be yet another “oversight” on their part arising from the fact they’ve failed to read Section 72 of the Bredon decision which could surely also apply at Oswestry. Far from complex, it’s rather simple:
“In view of the weight carried by the heritage harm, this harm is the overriding factor, and is not outweighed by the benefits of the proposal. Due to this environmental harm, the proposal also does not represent sustainable development having regard to the policies in the Framework taken as a whole.”
Update 25 November
Today the evidence against Shropshire Council’s decision at Oswestry became yet nearer and yet stronger. This time it’s an Inspector’s decision at Norton Hales, Shropshire, just 33 miles from Oswestry: (http://static.ow.ly/docs/Bearstone%20Rd_425A.pdf)
“34. On balance, I am satisfied that the minor harm that would be caused to the Conservation Area would be outweighed by the public benefits that the proposal would deliver.
News reached us last week that The Portman Hunt had been written to by the National Trust amid claims it’s horses and hounds damaged Hambledon Hill after the Hunt “left the recognised bridleway and came across the hill”. A National Trust volunteer was even quoted saying “They have now twice been guilty of blatant and wilful damage to a scheduled ancient monument. What, I wonder will it take to make them actually take real notice?”
Lest the National Trust or others are unaware, wilful damage of a scheduled Ancient Monument is a criminal offence in this country. So why on earth are the National Trust pussy footing around with letters when they should be straight onto the police? A quick internet search shows the hunt isn’t exactly a paradigm of virtue so its explanation that they merely “left the track to round up some dogs.” should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt.
After all its not even as if its a first offence on this site, photographic evidence of Portman Hunt members bombing about the hillfort on quad bikes exists from a previous time as you can see below.
Those of you with long memories will recall we highlighted a different hunt last year who decided riding multiple horses over a barrow was appropriate. A trend of disrespect and contempt?
Historic England’s Heritage Planning Case Database is seriously good. It enables amateurs to do what the professionals do (or should) which is to use planning decisions in one place as a guide to how the law should be interpreted in another.
It’s a work in progress and it doesn’t yet contain cases about hill forts but I did come across this, an application to build 59 houses on land at Partridge Green, West Sussex which will be kind of familiar to people in Oswestry (especially paragraph 53, see below, it’s enough to make you weep) – apart from the Inspector’s decision to refuse permission! Incidentally the people of Oswestry might care to note that in West Sussex there had been the usual blather about affordable housing yet the application included only 4 one bedroomed apartments and 35 three, four and five bedroomed houses. (A five bedder round there would cost you about £1.3 million).
Anyway, here are some bits of the Inspector’s report that will ring a lot of bells of regret in Oswestry. Life just ain’t fair if you’re a Salopian monument with a quite extraordinary, aberrant Council. We’ve already suggested Oswestry hill fort would be safe in West Oxfordshire. Looks like that could also be true if it was in West Sussex.
76. Sustainable development is about change for the better. The appeal proposal would assist in the provision of much needed housing in the local area and District in general. This is a highly significant material consideration and carries substantial weight in the context of paragraph 49 of the Framework. It would also have a social and economic role to play in achieving positive growth now and into the future.
77. However, such benefits would be at significant cost to the intrinsic character of the countryside and its green, open, pastoral appearance; and would not preserve the setting of the listed buildings, thereby unacceptably harming their significance…..
78. The presumption in favour of sustainable development set out in paragraph 14 of the Framework applies only to sustainable development. Taking this conclusion into account along with all other considerations set out above, including the contribution of the proposal to addressing the shortfall in housing supply, on balance, I conclude that the adverse impacts of the appeal proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of granting planning permission. Therefore, the appeal should fail.
A comment just made by Dr George Nash….
Submitted on 2015/11/04 at 09:02
Dear Team, I have just asked the Chairman of West Sussex Council if Old Oswestry Hillfort and its surrounding landscape can be incorporated into West Sussex. We want this ancient site to be administered by a useful, honest and progressive cultural heritage team; West Sussex has said…..YES. Archaeologists and the general public please be aware that Old Oswestry Hillfort and its surrounding landscape is NOW part of West Sussex. [Dismal] Shropshireland you have been a disgrace to this and other heritage assets including the demolition of the only remaining purpose-built Telford-A5 tollhouse and the threat of damage/destruction to sections of Offa’s Dyke at Trefonen – time to go back to the drawing board and rebuild the confidence of the general public. The message from us West Sussex people to the planning officers and elected members of [Dismal] Shropshireland is…..GET LOST.