Welcome to Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan


Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan with HIGHLY COMMENDED and finished in second place in the Neighbourhood Planning category.

The winners of the Planning Awards were announced on 21 June.

The awards, organised by Planning magazine and Placemaking Resource, span 10 categories in planning and 13 in placemaking, plus an overall editor’s award. While the planning categories reward excellence in planning practice, the placemaking categories celebrate outstanding work in regeneration, economic development, urban design, sustainable development and community development as well as planning. Winners were chosen by an expert of 25 senior figures from across the sector.



The final stage of the Neighbourhood Plan process has now been reached.

The Shropshire Council Agenda for its meeting on 15th December included a report to inform the Council of the results of the referendum on the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan for Council to bring the Plan into force by adopting it as part of the statutory development plan under the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 s38A (as amended).

You can read a copy of the Shropshire Council report by clicking document (1)

Shropshire Council approved the report.

The final version of the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan can be read by clicking document (2)


Total votes cast 1660 (turnout 30.59%)

YES 1545

No 112


Background to the Referendum including the Referendum Version of the Plan


In August 2016 Shropshire Council determined that the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan could proceed to a referendum. They arranged for the referendum to take place on Thursday 15th September. You can read the formal notice – the Information Statement by clicking document (3)

People on the electoral register for Shifnal were able to vote in the referendum. The voting arrangements were similar to those for a local election including postal votes.

The question that was asked was as follows

Do you want Shropshire Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Shifnal to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area? 

If more than 50% of those voting in the referendum vote “yes” then Shropshire Council will bring the plan into force. It will then form part of Shropshire Council’s Local Development Plan.

A summary of the final Plan was delivered to every household in the time leading up to the referendum. You can see a copy of it by clicking document (4)

All the key documents can also be found by clicking here to reach the planning policy section of the Shropshire Council website.

The Independent Examiner's Report

On 1 April 2016 the Independent Examiner, John Parmiter, issued a Report of Examination on The Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan 2014  2026. 

It is very positive report that can be read in detail by clicking document (5). He has recommended certain technical and minor modifications which do not impact on the Plan’s overall strategies and are generally acceptable to the preparers of the Plan.

The conclusions and recommendations are summarised below

He concluded that the making of the plan will meet the Basic Conditions. In summary they are that it must:

  • Be appropriate to do so, having regard to national policies and advice;
  • Contribute to the achievement of sustainable development;
  • Be in general conformity with the strategic policies of the development plan; and
  • Not breach, and be otherwise compatible with, European Union and European Convention on Human Rights obligations.


He also concluded that:

  • The plan has been prepared and submitted for examination by a qualifying body – Shifnal Town Council;
  • The plan has been prepared for an area properly designated; and does not cover more than one neighbourhood plan area;
  • The plan does not relate to “excluded development”;
  • The plan specifies the period to which it has effect – to 2026; and
  • The policies relate to the development and use of land for a designated neighbourhood area, subject to the recommended modifications.


He recommended that the plan, once modified, should proceed to a Referendum. 

He also congratulated the Town Council and its volunteers for all the hard work that has clearly gone into the drafting of the plan and gave his thanks to both Town and Shropshire Council officers for their support in making the examination so smooth.


The Submission Consultation Documents

Shifnalneighbourhoodplan 300x253The Submission Consultation Documents 

On 17th December Shifnal Town Council approved the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan for submission to Shropshire Council.

Councillor Robert Harrop, the Mayor of Shifnal, subsequently handed over the Plan to Malcolm Pate, Leader of Shropshire Council, on behalf of Shifnal Town Council and all the residents of Shifnal Parish.




The submitted plan consists of three documents

  • Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan 2014-2026:- Submission Stage Consultation (Regulation 16)

and two supporting documents

  • Consultation Statement
  • Basic Conditions Statement


The Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan 2014 – 2016 Submission Stage Consultation (Regulation 16) is can be read and downloaded by clicking document (6)

The Shropshire Council Review and Submission to Independent Examination

Once Shropshire Council received the submitted plan proposal and supporting documents, it checked that it had followed the proper legal process, such as the neighbourhood area being designed and that the plan had met the legal requirements for consultation and publicity.

Then, as required by Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations, Shropshire Council invited representations during a public consultation on the submission version of the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan. The consultation ran for 6 weeks until 5pm on Friday 26 February 2016.

Once the consultation had been completed, the Council collated all the responses received and sent these to an examiner appointed by the Council, along with the submitted documents so that the Shifnal Neighbourhodd Plan could be examined.

Following the Examination, the appointed Examiner produced a Report of Examination which is available to read by clicking document (7). He recommended certain minor and technical modifications and subject to these that the plan, once modified, should proceed to a referendum.

There is more information in the Neighbourhood Plan part of the Planning Policy section of the Shropshire Council website. Click here to visit the website

Background and Evidence Documents

Many papers and documents have been considered in developing the Plan. The most important ones are available to read at the bottom of this page. Document titles that are underlined can be found below.

Appendix C of the Pre – Submission Consultation Document Sets out a List of evidence base documents 

  • Notes on sources of additional dwellings  with planning permission, September 2015
  • PMP (2010) Shropshire Open SpaceSport and Recreation Study (PPG17)
  • Housing Need  in Shifnal, August 2015
  • Shropshire Council (2014) Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)  Update Report, appendix 3 (Shifnal) 
  • Care Home Places  – Evidence of Need, July 2015
  • Shifnal Forward Transport Action Group (2015) – Improving Rail Services
  • Action for Market Towns (2013) Market Town Benchmarking: Measuring the performance of Town Centres – Shifnal 
  • Shifnal Forward (2014) Shifnal Tourism Strategy and Action Plan, Shifnal Tourism Group


Other Background Documents 

  • Shifnal Town Plan – Report on Green Spaces 
  • Shifnal Town Plan 2009 – the Published Document
  • Place Plan  for Shifnal & Surrounding Area 2015/16
  •   Shifnal Transport Strategy Consultation held in December 2015 – Exhibition Consultation Boards 


Developing the Plan


The Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan was developed on behalf of Shifnal Town Council by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (NPSG) which was made up of town councillors and members of the community. Members of the Steering Group are listed along with the Terms of Reference. Further information can be found in the Steering Group section below.

The Neighbourhood Plan designated area covers the civil parish of Shifnal and a map of the designated area can be obtained by clicking document (8).

You can also look at a land usage map that shows the current status in planning terms of new housing sites in the main Shifnal town area. Click document (9) to view this map. The sites coloured brown show the latest sites approved for housing.

A Neighbourhood Plan is a new type of Planning document introduced by the Localism Act (2011). Neighbourhood Plans are intended to give local people a greater say in the future of the development of their communities.

This statutory status gives the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) far more weight than other local documents or plans which have been produced in the past, which are not underpinned by this legal backing.

The Neighbourhood Plan will set out a vision for the future of Shifnal up to 2026. It will form part of Shropshire Council’s planning documents and will have to be referred to before any decisions involving Shifnal are made.

Neighbourhood Plans must reflect national planning policy and the strategic policies of Shropshire Council. But we can say which local sites we want to see developed or protected from Development.

The Neighbourhood Plan allows us to say how we would like Shifnal to develop over the next 10 to 15 years. It can include policies on any developments eg a new health centre but also on improvements to infrastructure that has a land use implication such as the roads, pedestrian routes into and around the town, open spaces.

The various stages required for the development of the Plan are summarised below:

  • Stage 1 – Consultation on Vision and Objectives
  • Stage 2 – Development of draft policies for each objective
  • Stage 3 – Consultation on emerging policies
  • Stage 4 – Drafting the Plan and Background Evidence documents
  • Stage 5 – Formal Consultation on the Draft Plan
  • Stage 6 – Rewriting as required based on feedback
  • Stage 7 – Submission of Plan to Shropshire Council followed by Independent examination and the subsequent issue of a Report by the Independent Examiner.
  • Stage 8 – Referendum

We have completed all the stages and the Plan was formally adopted by Shropshire Council on 15th December 2016.


Vision and Objectives

The Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan sets out the community’s overall vision for the area.

The Vision and Objectives listed below are those that have been developed through the various stages of the consultation process. This started with the Residents questionnaire issued in November 2014 and the first stage ended with the Consultation Event / Exhibition in June 2015. They were then further refined following the Pre-Submission Consultation stage which ran from September 28th until November 8th 2015.


Challenges for Shifnal 

The Neighbourhood Plan seeks to address, as far as is possible, the challenges that face the community of Shifnal parish. In summary these challenges are:

  • To ensure that the infrastructure of Shifnal town is improved and expanded so that it can support the significant growth in population through already-permitted residential developments. In particular this relates to the need for expanded healthcare, education and leisure facilities and highways provision.
  • Ensuring that the community continues to have good access to the surrounding countryside, particularly given the expansion of housing on the edges of Shifnal town.
  •  The growing volume of traffic in the town centre, with narrow streets of an old market town and a lack of options for providing expanded parking.
  • The need to protect recreational areas and green spaces of value to the community in order that Shifnal does not become too urbanised.
  • To bring the vacant and derelict sites and buildings within the town back into positive use, so helping to retain the historic core of the town.
  • To protect existing employment opportunities so that Shifnal does not become solely a commuter town.
  • For Shifnal town centre to continue to be a focal point for the community and a high quality destination for shopping, leisure and tourism, with movement possible by a range of modes, not just the car.


Vision for Shifnal 

In consultation with the community, the established vision for Shifnal is as follows:

“In 2026, Shifnal is still a pleasant place to live. It has grown considerably in size, but good planning which has taken account of the concerns and policies included in the Neighbourhood Plan has meant that its long- established character as a bustling town with an attractive built environment, a distinctive town centre with a range of independent shops and good community facilities has not changed. It has enhanced its role and sustainability as one of Shropshire’s historic small market towns. 

Shifnal has successfully addressed its two key issues. First, a new medical centre with the latest facilities meets the health needs of residents including newcomers to the town and has reduced the need to travel to local hospitals. 

Secondly, there have been great improvements in traffic management and pedestrian safety. The improvements to bus service infrastructure and the development of walkways and cycle paths into and around the town centre have encouraged people to leave their cars at home. This has reduced congestion and the pressure on the town’s car parks, and so has improved the town centre as a place to stop and walk around, and its shops and businesses are thriving in both daytime and evening. This has led to increasing job opportunities for local people. 

The protection of the character of the town centre, including the actions taken with regard to former derelict and empty shops and buildings, has led to an increase in the number of visitors and tourists coming to the town. Shifnal has become a destination, where people come to walk or cycle in the surrounding attractive countryside and then return to enjoy a drink or meal in the town. 

Better leisure facilities have been developed, and those green spaces listed in the Neighbourhood Plan because of their recreational and informal leisure value have been retained and improved to meet the needs of all sections of the population, and new green spaces including a Town park have been provided as part of recent housing developments. Community effort backed by public and private funding has led to the Wesley Brook becoming an attractive feature. The greenbelt and the agricultural land around the town have not been built upon. 

Some small-scale housing development has taken place on infill sites, but in accordance with the policies in the Plan it has matched the size, scale and character of the existing built environment and has met local housing needs. This has meant that neither younger nor older people need now to move away to find affordable or suitable housing. New car home provision has been made to provide for those in need to dedicated care. 

There has been an increase in local employment opportunities due to the implementation of the policies in the Neighbourhood Plan, thereby reducing the need to travel out of the town to work.

A strong community spirit continues to exist and new residents have successfully integrated into the town, and this has given everyone the opportunity to participate in and live a healthy, safe and satisfying life.” 


Neighbourhood Plan Objectives 

The objectives of the Neighbourhood Plan as identified through engagement with the community are as follows:

Green Belt and the Shifnal Settlement Boundary 

  • The existing Green Belt around the town should be retained
  • Development should be focused within the settlement boundary of the town



  • The design of any new housing in Shifnal should be in keeping with and improve upon good design in the town, provide varied and interesting frontages and incorporate design features found in the vicinity of the site
  • New housing should meet the needs of Shifnal, particularly in respect of providing more smaller dwellings for first-time buyers and older people
  • Encourage the provision of additional care home places to meet the needs of older people


Transport and Movement 

  • The road network should be improved to accommodate the extra local traffic generated by the new housing developments as well as through traffic
  • Adequate public car parking should be provided in the town centre
  • Encourage and support the provision of and improvements to pedestrian and cycle routes into and around the town to create a more sustainable and safer environment, reduce reliance on the car and offer healthier life style options
  • Improve the provision of bus and rail services and infrastructure in order to increase public transport movements


Character and Conservation 

  • Any new development should not adversely affect the market town character of Shifnal
  • Encourage and support re-sure or redevelopment of derelict, unused and vacant sites and buildings to protect and enhance the character of the town.


Health and Leisure 

  • A new health centre should be provided to meet the health needs of existing residents and the new households coming to live in the town.
  • Better opportunities for leisure should be provided for everyone in the community



  • Existing parks, play areas, playing fields and open spaces should be retained and additional open space areas provided
  • Any new development should seek to reduce flood risk and not adversely affect drainage and flooding in the town


Town Centre and Economy 

  • Existing employment land should be retained and new employment opportunities encouraged within the town
  • Provide for and enhance existing facilities and support initiatives to attract visitors and tourists to the town
  • Rural farming activities should be protected and encouraged


In this section you will find commentary and documentation for every bit of consultation with residents, community groups, services and businesses that happens during the Neighbourhood Planning Process.

As each consultation takes place, its record will go in at the top of the list, so look for the most recent consultations just below this introduction, and for earlier ones further down in date order.

The Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan 2014 – 2026 Submission Stage Consultation (Regulations 16) 

As required by Regulation 16 of the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations, Shropshire Council invited representations during a public consultation on the submission version of the Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan. The consultation ran for 6 weeks until 5pm on Friday 26 February 2016.


The Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan 2014 – 2026 Pre-submission Consultation document 

The report of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to Shifnal Town Council on 17th September 2015 is available below – document (10). This deals with the pre-submission consultation process. It was approved by the Town Council.

We formally consulted statutory bodies, local organisations and the wider community for a statutory six week consultation period which ended on Sunday 8th November. A Record of comments made in response to the Pre-submission Consultation is available by clicking document (11) below.

Earlier Consultation Reports and Events

A copy of the detailed Report on Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan Policy Proposals Community Feedback – June 2015 is available by clicking document (12).  This report briefly summarises and analyses the response to each of the questions posed at the Consultation Event / Exhibition which was held on Friday 12th June 2015

Copies of what you saw or may have missed at our Exhibition on Friday 12th June are available below.  Document (13) is the full summary paper on the policy proposals which sets out the proposed policies and the background to the policies in detail. By clicking document (14) you can see the posters that were displayed at the exhibition.



THE FIRST CONSULTATION REPORT – Analysis of the first stage of engagement October to December 2014 – is available to read by clicking document (16). Supporting this are summaries of the surveys completed by pupils at St Andrew’s Primary (Document (17)) and Shifnal Primary (Document (18)) school together with notes of a meeting with students at Idsall School (document (19)) and young people attending various Groups (document (20)).

Shifnal Neighbourhood Plan – CONSULTATION ACTION SUMMARY from Oct-Dec 2014. This is a summary of the things we did – there are no links contained in it but you will find further information on some of the items elsewhere on the website.

We held drop in days at the Old Fire Station on 22nd and 29th November and we also had a stall at Shifnal Farmers Market on 15th November. A summary of what was said at these events can be read by clicking document (21).

Residents Questionnaire (Document (22)) This is a questionnaire issued to all Shifnal households in November 2014 to be returned by 7 December.

Timeline and Process

  • Stage 1 – Consultation on Vision and Objectives
  • Stage 2 – Development draft policies for each objective
  • Stage 3 – Consultation on emerging policies
  • Stage 4 – Drafting the Plan and Background Evidence documents
  • Stage 5 – Formal Consultation on the Draft Plan
  • Stage 6 – Rewriting as required based on feedback
  • Stage 7 – Independent Examination
  • Stage 8 – Referendum

These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology and are in the following formats: .pdf. Request an accessible format.

The Steering Group

Shifnal Town Council decided to look seriously at the possibility of developing a Neighbourhood Plan in early 2014. The first step was to decide on the area that it should cover. The civil parish of Shifnal was the obvious choice. The regulations for developing a Neighbourhood Plan are set out in the legislation which came into effect in April2012. This requires the area to be approved formally by the Local Planning Authority, which in Shifnal’s case is Shropshire Council. There is a process which must be followed and the “Designated Area” was submitted with the required map and documentation in April 2014 and finally approved by Shropshire Council on 20th October 2014.

Shifnal Town Council is the body responsible for the development of the Plan on behalf of all the residents who live in the designated area. To achieve this task it was recognised that there needed to be a Steering Group to manage and deliver the Project and because the plan must be “community led” the Steering Group needed to have a majority of members drawn from the community and be chaired by one of those community members. It was decided that a small Steering Group be established and at a meeting of the Town Council on 18th September 2014 this was agreed along with delegated powers. The formal Terms of Reference for the Steering Group are available below.

Three members of the Community were invited to join the group and they all accepted. All have very relevant skills and experience to bring from their working lives. Indeed the Mayor of Shifnal says that, “we are lucky to have people with such a high level of appropriate skills who are willing to give up a great deal of their time to help develop this plan for the benefit of all the residents of Shifnal.” Two Town Councillors, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, were nominated to the Steering Group, underlining the importance of this Plan for the Town. The Steering Group had its first meeting on 10th October 2014.

The Terms of Reference of the Steering Group also enable the Steering Group to co-opt additional members and in November 2014. For a copy of the Membership of the Steering Group, please see document below.

The role of the Steering Group is to gather issues, comment and concerns from residents in every possible way and to build the Neighbourhood Plan from this information. The job of the Steering Group is not  to decide what goes into the Plan.

Minutes of the Steering Group Meeting 

The Minutes of the Steering Group meetings are available to read below. They are working meetings of the group members and not open to the public. The minutes are published after they are approved at the next Steering Group Meeting.

Partner Organisations

Shifnal Town Council – https://www.shifnaltowncouncil.gov.uk/ 

Shropshire Council – https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/

Shifnal Business Forum

Shifnal Flood Partnership

Shifnal Forward

The Shifnal Society

Shifnal History Group