National award for Bridgnorth park threatened with huge housing development

Green flag award

By Rory Smith | Published: 

A country park earmarked for development near Bridgnorth has won a national award.

Stanmore Country Park is currently under threat of large-scale development, but has this week been awarded the Green Flag Community Award for its status as a public beauty spot.

Judged on behalf of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Keep Britain Tidy inspected the 40-hectare park against seven criteria along with another 2,023 applicants.

Located east of Bridgnorth, the park was deemed to be a welcoming place that is safe, well maintained and clean.

Other specifications considered for the award were the environmental management of the park, its biodiversity, community involvement and volunteers’ achievements.

Andy Howard, chair of the Friends of Stanmore Park, said the group was overjoyed at the news.

“We are absolutely delighted that Stanmore has been honoured in this way,” he said.

“It’s wonderful to have national recognition for the fact that Stanmore has qualities which make it an equal to other green space across the UK and internationally, from world famous London parks to other local community spaces.”

This comes as the future of the park is currently undecided, with plans to build a garden village settlement and an employment site on 410 acres of land included as part of Shropshire Council’s Local Plan Review.

The park was purchased by the council in 1997 for community use.

Wider proposals in the council’s plan for Bridgnorth would see 850 homes built up until 2036.

A large section of green belt surrounding the site is also being set aside for further development after 2036.

Since the plans were outlined, a number of campaign groups have formed to save the park from development.

Figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, show that up until now Shropshire has done a better job protecting its green belt land than other counties across the country.

Figures released for 2017 show that five per cent of land within Shropshire’s green belt boundary was considered developed – compared to eight per cent across England.

Published in the Shropshire Star, 18th July 2019.