Shropshire Council

Church Stretton 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 Church Stretton 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:

  • Sewerage network capacity is a potential issue across the area, and modelling will be required to assess capacity to meet development needs


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

This area in the countywide plans

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 Church Stretton, Policy CS3 recognises that:

  • Development must balance environmental constraints with meeting local needs
  • The town is located in a narrow valley in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Church Stretton benefits from good transport links, including a railway station on the Crewe – Cardiff line
  • The town is a popular retirement destination, with 31.5% of Church Stretton residents aged 65 or over (compared with 19.7% for Shropshire)
  • Tourism is very important within Church Stretton, and is a key employer

SAMDev policies

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

  • Church Stretton will provide a focus for development that is part of Shropshire, with a housing guideline of about 370 dwellings and about 1ha of employment land for the period to 2026
  • New housing development will be delivered through the allocation of greenfield sites together with windfall development
  • There will be a specific site allocation of around 1 hectare of new employment land for class B1 uses (offices and light industrial)
  • New development must recognise the importance of conserving and where possible enhancing, the special qualities of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as set out in the AONB Management Plan
  • Windfall opportunities to develop suitable small-scale employment using appropriate rural locations will be permitted

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. 

Key points from the Local Plan Review include:

  • Church Stretton will act as a key centre and contribute towards the strategic growth objectives in the south of the County
  • The Local Plan Review will seek to achieve balanced housing and employment growth
  • Between 2006/07 and 2016/17 the average housing delivery rate in Church Stretton was 13 dwellings per year. The annual build rate required over the Local Plan Review is 13 dwellings per year
  • Additional land opportunities will need to recognise flood risk in the area

More about Church Stretton

Church Stretton developed as an Anglo-Saxon village along the Roman road which ran through the Stretton Gap. Located midway between Shrewsbury and Ludlow the town has the nickname of Little Switzerland due to its landscape.

There are a number of historic buildings, including St Lawrence’s Church, which still stands on its original site with much of the building dating from Norman times.

In 1214 King John, who owned the manor, instructed the Sheriff to announce that a weekly market was to be held on Wednesdays. This was changed to Thursdays by a Charter granted by Edward III in 1337. Today the market is managed by the Town Council, and is held in the town square every Thursday and Saturday.

A great fire in 1593 destroyed much of the town centre which was rebuilt with half-timbered buildings, many of which can still be seen today.

In 1852 the railway came to Church Stretton, which still provides good transport links today. The town is also popular with walkers who visit the surrounding hills and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

List of parishes and local elected members

This place plan covers the following parish councils:

  • Acton Burnell, Frodesley, Pitchford, Ruckley and Langley Parish Council
  • Acton Scott Parish Meeting
  • All Stretton, Smethcott and Woolstaston Parish Council
  • Cardington Parish Council
  • Church Stretton Town Council
  • Eaton Under Heywood and Hope Bowdler Parish Council
  • Leebotwood and Longnor Parish Council
  • Rushbury Parish Council

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

  • Lee Chapman (Church Stretton and Craven Arms Ward)
  • David Evans (Church Stretton and Craven Arms Ward)
  • Cecilia Motley (Corvedale Ward)
  • Dan Morris (Burnell Ward)

Other local plans

When developing the place plan for an area we also look at any other local plans and strategies that focus on infrastructure needs.

For Church Stretton and the surrounding area, the relevant plans include:

Community led or parish plans