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The society has objected to proposed development on the slopes of the dramatic Caer Caradoc, near Church Stretton in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The plans, from Morris Property, are for 85 dwellings and 16 holiday units, sprawled over fields immediately to the south-west of Caer Caradoc and east of Church Stretton.
Says Harry Scott, our local correspondent for Shropshire: ‘We are appalled by this proposal which will spoil the splendid approach to Caer Caradoc for ever. The views from the surrounding hills will also be ruined. It will be visible from as far away as the Long Mynd on the other side of the valley.
‘Church Stretton is a tourist hub as well as an accredited Walkers Are Welcome town, yet walkers and other visitors would be deterred from visiting the area if such a development were to proceed.
‘The site is crossed by a popular public footpath, leading from Church Stretton up into the hills, and this would disappear under the development.
‘Furthermore, the housing is very close to access land, where the public has the legal right to roam freely across the hills of Caer Caradoc, Helmeth Hill and Hope Bowdler. All these hills are approached via the development site.
‘In short, this development is alien to the area, it will adversely affect tourism and will be a blot in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.’
There are over 270 objections, including from Church Stretton Chamber of Commerce, the Strettons Civic Society, Church Stretton Town Council, South Shropshire CPRE, Shropshire Council’s rights-of-way office, the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership and Philip Dunne MP.