Shropshire Council

Bridgnorth and surrounding area

Place plans were developed to include a main centre (often a market town) and its surrounding smaller towns, villages, and rural hinterland. These areas are recognised in the Local Plan as functioning geographical areas, with strong linkages to and from the main town and the wider area.

The Bridgnorth and Surrounding Area Place Plan covers the area identified within the red outline on the map image on this page. It summarises and prioritises the local infrastructure needs which are required to support the sustainable development of the area, and identifies the wider investment needs to assist delivery of the community’s vision and aspirations.

Data and information review

The infrastructure project list is based on information submitted to us by town and parish councils in each place plan area. This information is then tested against data held by us, and further informed by consultation with a range of infrastructure providers.

By gathering this information, we've been able to understand more clearly the needs of each place plan area and use this information to make some difficult decisions about prioritisation of projects.

Key infrastructure issues

A review of information for this area has shown that key infrastructure issues are:

  • Potential for development of a range of housing for sale and rent, including key worker housing, and development of the Country Park with associated linkage to adjacent countryside, at the site referred to as Stanmore Garden Village
  • The above reflects the urgent need to address an existing structural imbalance between housing and employment, and to provide for additional growth by businesses. This is also supported by key market signals in following the departure of some key local employers from the Bridgnorth area.
  • All development within the place plan area will require an assessment of utility services, especially sewage and drainage, and flood management proposals
  • Affordable housing provision will remain an important issue across the area

Projects

Several projects have been identified and prioritised for the area. You can find the details for each project in the Brignorth Place Plan which is attached to this page to view or download.

This area in the countywide plan

Core Strategy

The Core Strategy recognises the role of Shropshire’s market towns and key centres through a specific policy - Policy CS3. This policy outlines how all our towns have distinctive identities, which new development is expected to reinforce, by respecting each town’s distinctive character, and by being sensitive to its landscape setting, historic features, and the towns’ functions.

You can view the full strategy on our planning policy web pages.

For Bridgnorth, Policy CS3 recognises that:

  • The market towns and other key centres will maintain and enhance their roles in providing facilities and services to their rural hinterlands and providing foci for economic development and regeneration
  • Bridgnorth (population 11,400) acts as a key service centre not just for the town, but for a sizeable hinterland as well. The town itself is an historic one, comprising a Low Town straddling the River Severn and a High Town perched on cliffs 100 ft above. Medieval street patterns and many fine old buildings combine with old paths and flights of steps to create a unique town of considerable charm.
  • Located at the junction of the A458 and the A442, it is within relatively easy commuting distance of Telford, Shrewsbury, Kidderminster, Wolverhampton and the Black Country. A significant proportion of Bridgnorth residents commute out of the town to work.

SAMDev policies

The policies for Bridgnorth, and then for the wider area, are as follows:

  • Over the period 2006-2026, Bridgnorth will maintain and enhance its role by making provision for the needs of the town and surrounding hinterland, including attracting businesses to the area and allowing existing businesses to expand.
  • Around 1,400 dwellings and around 13 hectares of employment land with 6.6 hectares to relocate the existing Livestock Market, will be delivered in Bridgnorth on a mix of windfall and allocated sites. Land is allocated for housing and employment development.
  • Retail development will be directed to the town centre where it will benefit from, and contribute to, the town’s historic character.
  • The Primary Shopping Frontage at High Street and Whitburn Street are protected for retail use.
  • Existing employment land at Bridgnorth Aluminium site, Faraday Drive, Stanmore Industrial Estate and Stanley Lane will be reserved for business and industrial uses. Development on these safeguarded employment sites will be for offices, workshops, general industry or storage and distribution use.
  • Developments that contribute to the area’s economy are encouraged on sites that are inset (i.e. not included) in the surrounding Green Belt at Stanmore Industrial Estate and Alveley Industrial Estate.
  • Proposals for small scale office, workshop and light industrial uses and expansion of existing businesses will be supported where they are well located and well suited to employment use. 5 hectares of employment development are expected to take place on small-scale windfall sites across the Bridgnorth area over the plan period.

More about Bridgnorth

Bridgnorth is named after a bridge over the River Severn. The earliest historical reference to the town in 895, which records that the Danes created a camp at Cwatbridge. The town itself was not created until 1101 when the Third Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Belleme, constructed a castle and church on the site of the modern-day town.

Bridgnorth was once one of the busiest river ports in Europe, but the introduction of the railways led to the decline in river trade, and nowadays the Severn - clear and unpolluted - is a quiet haven for anglers, walkers and wildlife.

The river divides the town into High Town and Low Town, each linked by ancient donkey steps and the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway. The Railway opened in 1892 and is the steepest inland funicular railway in England.

Today Bridgnorth town is an attractive market town with a mix of independent stores, many pubs and places to eat. Bridgnorth was named the winner of the Great British High Street in 2016 for large market towns. Bridgnorth town is surrounded by several beautiful villages and rural communities.

Parishes and local elected members

This place plan covers the following town and parish councils:</ p>

  • Alveley and Romsley Parish Council
  • Astley Abbotts Parish Council
  • Aston, Botterell, Burwarton and Cleobury Parish Council
  • Billingsley, Deuxhill, Glazeley and Middleton Scriven Parish Council
  • Bridgnorth Town Council
  • Chetton Parish Council
  • Claverley Parish Council
  • Ditton Priors Parish Council
  • Eardington Parish Council
  • Morville, Acton Round, Aston Eyre, Monkhopton, Upton Cressett Parish Council
  • Neenton Parish Meeting
  • Quatt, Malvern Parish Council
  • Sutton Maddock Parish Council
  • Tasley Parish Council
  • Worfield and Rudge Parish Council

The following Shropshire Council elected members represent constituencies within this place plan area:

  • Councillor Les Winwood (Bridgnorth West and Tasley Ward
  • Councillor Elliot Lynch (Bridgnorth West and Ward)
  • Councillor Christian Lea (Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbotts)
  • Councillor William Parr (Bridgnorth East and Astley Abbotts)
  • Councillor Michael Wood (Worfield Ward)
  • Councillor Tina Woodward (Alveley and Claverley Ward)
  • Councillor Robert Tindall (Brown Clee Ward)

Other local plans

When developing the place plan for an area, Shropshire Council also looks at any other local plans and strategies that focus on infrastructure needs within this area.

For Bridgnorth and the surrounding area, the relevant plans include:

  • Alveley and Romsley Parish Plan - update 2012
  • Astley Abbotts Parish Plan 2010
  • Bridgnorth Town Plan 2012
  • Claverley Parish Plan -2016 - https://www.claverleyparish.co.uk/claverley-parish-plan/</a >
  • Ditton Priors Parish Plan update 2014 - Z:\Neighbourhood Plans\CLP\Ditton Priors</span >
  • Quatt Malvern - started 2018
  • Stockton Parish plan - 2013
  • Bridgnorth Town Plan - started Summer 2019

Local Economic Growth Strategy for Bridgnorth

In October 2017, we published our Economic Growth Strategy for 2017-2021. One of the key actions identified within the strategy was the development of a local growth strategy for each of our key market towns.

The Bridgnorth Local Economic Growth Strategy (LEGS) has been prepared in conjunction with a range of stakeholders, including the town council, surrounding parish councils, and local businesses. The intention is that the strategy is not just confined to the town itself but also takes in the wider hinterland.

The Bridgnorth and Surrounding Area Place Plan supports the Bridgnorth LEGS by identifying infrastructure needs within the area, which in turn will help to create the conditions and environment that attracts people and business to the area.

The economic vision for Bridgnorth has been formed collaboratively and informed by engagement with the town and parishes. The vision is:

To capitalise on opportunities for growth, investment and the retaining of skills through sustainable development and social sustainability whilst preserving and enhancing the beauty and appeal of the town.

A number of key themes were raised as part of the engagement with local stakeholders and these are addressed within the Bridgnorth LEGS. In summary, the key themes are:

  • Actively and sustainably supporting economic growth whilst preserving the beauty of the town.
  • Provision of accommodation to attract visitors encouraging overnight stays rather than day visits.
  • Capitalising on the town’s close proximity to major economic centres and the West Midlands.
  • Retaining and supporting key businesses.
  • Social sustainability - how to retain young people in the town.
  • Development around leisure and the riverside.
  • Improvements to infrastructure to support growth, particularly around transport in and around the town.
  • Capitalising on location as a nice place to live and work.
  • Promotion of the town’s attractions such as the Severn Valley Railway. </ li>
  • Making Bridgnorth attractive to business.
  • Opportunities to promote the town as a destination.
  • Extra car parking provision and viability</ li>