Councillor condemns ‘Cheshire Oaks in Ironbridge’ proposal

7 Jun 2019
Thomas New Pic
Cllr Thomas Janke described the proposal as "ridiculous"

Lib Dem Councillor Thomas Janke (Newport South & East) has hit back at Conservative Eric Carter's proposal to build a Cheshire Oaks-style retail park on the site of the old Ironbridge Power Station.

"Building a retail park on the edge of a World Heritage Site is a ridiculous proposal," Cllr Janke said. "We should be developing the local economy around the heritage of Ironbridge, not despoiling the jewel in our borough's crown."

Cllr Janke favours instead investing in the borough's heritage town centres, including Ironbridge, Newport and Wellington, and building a retail economy based around local independent shops.

"If there is one thing Telford does not lack it is retail parks," commented Cllr Janke. "This unimaginative Conservative proposal is planning policy from the late eighties - 'if in doubt, build more retail parks.' It is time we moved on."

Telford and Wrekin Liberal Democrats have led a consistent campaign against inappropriate development in the borough, with Cllr Bill Tomlinson, Cllr Karen Blundell and Cllr Karen Tomlinson galvanising the community against proposals for a large-scale toilet roll factory close to housing in Shawbirch earlier this year. The plans were withdrawn soon afterwards.

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