Shropshire Council

Shifnal 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 Shifnal 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

For the Shifnal and Surrounding Area Place Plan, a review of information has shown that key infrastructure issues are:

  • The town of Shifnal is on the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton railway line and is close to the M54.  Its geographic location has made it attractive as a commuter settlement serving the West Midlands conurbation, with employment self-containment lower than in almost all other Shropshire market towns: almost three times as many workers commute out of Shifnal as commute in. 
  • There is potential for housing and employment land development in the area, due to its excellent connectivity to the rest of the region. Development of any such plans would require extensive consultation in order to ensure the sustainability of any development.   
  • The primary concern is to secure a better balance between the currently committed scale of housing (975 dwellings) and the current availability of employment land (only 2 hectares). 
  • Sustainability assessments will need to take into account GP provision, school places, local traffic management, green space allocation, utilities provision, etc.

Projects

Several projects have been identified and prioritised for the area. You can find the details for each project in the Whitchurch 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 Policy CS3. This policy outlines how all of 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 read more from Policy CS3 on our planning policy pages. 

For Shifnal, Policy CS3 recognises that: 

  • Shifnal (population 5,600) lies less than five miles from Telford town centre, on the Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton railway line and with easy access to the M54. 
  • Shifnal will have development to meet local needs, respecting their location in the Green Belt.   
  • Some of the development to meet the needs of returning military personnel will be accommodated in Shifnal, if required. 
  • The metropolitan Green Belt undoubtedly influences Shifnal’s status as a commuter town serving the West Midlands conurbation, with employment self-containment lower than in almost all other Shropshire market towns – almost three times as many workers commute out of Shifnal as commute in.  

SAMDev policies

The SAMDev Plan also provides brief settlement policies for each place plan area. You can read more from the SAMDev Plan on our planning policy web pages. 

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

  • The town of Shifnal will have balanced development that provides a mix of housing, employment, facilities and services with around 1,250 dwellings and 5 hectares of employment development over 2006-2026. 
  • The Primary Shopping frontages at Bradford Street and Cheapside are protected for retail.  
  • Land beyond the development boundary that is not part of the Green Belt is safeguarded for Shifnal’s future development needs beyond the current Plan period. 
  • Existing employment land at the Lamledge Lane industrial estate is reserved for development. 

Local Plan Review

We started reviewing our Local Plan in 2017 and recently consulted on the preferred sites which are needed to meet the county’s development needs during the period to 2036. The new Plan is unlikely to be adopted before 2021.

The review will ensure that the Local Plan continues to be the primary consideration for decisions about development in Shropshire by maintaining robust and defensible policies that conform with national policy and address the changing circumstances within the County and beyond. 

More about Shifnal

Until the late 17th Century, most of the population of Shifnal were involved in agriculture; even craftsmen such as blacksmiths and weavers and innkeepers had their own cattle and grew some corn. 

In the 18th Century there was a great expansion in the number and range of crafts in the town with local craftsmen meeting the needs of local people. Shifnal enjoyed considerable prosperity with its transport links as a key staging point for the London to Holyhead road. However, during the 1840s the railway line from London and Birmingham to Holyhead was constructed through Shifnal which brought an abrupt end to the already declining coaching traffic. Shifnal has seen substantial construction in recent years along with significant growth in employment and lies just 3 miles from the M54, the only motorway in Shropshire.

List of parishes and elected members

This place plan covers the following Town and Parish Councils: 

  • Shifnal Town Council 
  • Kemberton Parish Council 
  • Sheriffhales Parish Council 

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

  • Councillor Kevin Turley (Shifnal North Ward) 
  • Councillor Michael Wood (Worfield Ward) 
  • Councillor Ed Bird (Shifnal South & Cosford Ward) 

You can view each councillor's profile on the 'Your Councillor' section of our Committee Services web pages.

Other local plans

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

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

Community led or parish plans

Neighbourhood Plan / Plan 'Light'

On 15 December 2016 Shropshire Council adopted the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan 2016 under Section 28A(4) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.  The plan has now been adopted by Shropshire Council and forms part of the development plan for Shifnal town.  The Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan now forms part of the Development Plan for Shropshire.  

You can read more about the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan on their website.

Local Economic Growth Strategy for Shifnal

In October 2017, Shropshire Council published its 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 Shifnal strategy, which takes in the M54 corridor area incorporating Cosford, Tong, and Albrighton, is currently being prepared in conjunction with a range of stakeholders. This includes 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.