Shropshire Council

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

  • Highley Village is a linear settlement, spread over a mile on the B4555. The town is isolated to the east by the river, apart from a footbridge that provides pedestrian access to Alveley. 
  • Local infrastructure priorities include provision and maintenance of facilities and equipment for sport, recreation and leisure. 
  • The area’s predominantly rural nature will require development to be both limited in scale, and sensitive to the environment.  


There are a number of projects that have been identified and prioritised for the Highley area. You can find the details for projects in the place plan which is attached to this page for viewers to 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 Highley, Policy CS3 recognises that: 

  • Highley is seven miles south of Bridgnorth town and within commuting distance of Kidderminster. It is a linear settlement, spread over a mile on the B4555 on a ridge above the River Severn.  
  • Highley is isolated to its east by the river, apart from a footbridge that provides pedestrian access to Alveley.  
  • The settlement expanded significantly in the early twentieth century in conjunction with the Highley / Alveley colliery. The closure of the mines in the 1960s has left a legacy of regeneration needs. 
  • Highley is not a main employment centre and although most local jobs are filled by residents, the majority of resident workers are employed elsewhere. 

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 Highley, and then for the wider area, are as follows: 

  • As a key centre, Highley will continue to provide facilities and services for its rural hinterland with development to meet local needs.   
  • To support this role Highley will have growth of around 200 dwellings and a minimum of 0.6 hectares of employment land up to 2026. 
  • New housing development will be delivered primarily on the allocated housing site at Rhea Hall, set out in schedule S9.1a, alongside additional small-scale infill and windfall development within the village’s development boundary. 
  • New employment development will be delivered primarily on the committed employment site at Netherton Workshops alongside other appropriate brownfield opportunities within the village’s development boundary.  
  • In the wider Highley area, 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.   

Local Plan Review

Key points from the Local Plan Review include: 

  • The Local Plan Review will seek to achieve balanced housing and employment growth within Highley, through the provision of around 250 dwellings and around 3 hectares of employment development between 2016 and 2036.  
  • In 2016-17, 59 dwellings were completed and a further 69 dwellings were committed through planning permission, prior approval or site allocation. Therefore, a further 122 dwellings will need to be identified on new housing sites to support the housing growth objectives of the Local Plan Review.   
  • Around 2 hectares of employment land is already committed in Highley, through planning permission, prior approval or site allocation. Therefore, a minimum of 1 hectare of additional employment land will need to be identified to achieve the preferred level of employment development in the settlement.   
  • It is proposed that one site will be allocated for residential development. This site is located to the east of the settlement and benefits from good links into the town centre. The site will deliver a mix of house types including bungalows and an extra care scheme.  
  • No employment allocations are proposed as it is considered that appropriate employment land will be achieved through windfall development. 

More about Highley

Highley is a large village located in the east of Shropshire, just seven miles south of Bridgnorth town. The village of Highley is the main settlement and is predominantly urban in nature with rural surrounds. The settlement is spread over a mile on the B4555 to the west of the River Severn and the Severn Valley Railway. 

Highley contains a mixture of housing in terms of age and type, and the overall population density is higher than the average for Shropshire. The village provides the area with a range of shops and other amenities including a sports and community centre at the Severn Centre.  

Highley began as a rural farming community, and is identified as ‘Hughli’ in the Domesday Book entry, named after the lord of the manor. Later the area became significant for stone quarrying, which provided some of the stone for Worcester Cathedral.  

Coal mining began in the area in the Middle Ages but the formation of the Highley Mining Company in 1874 saw the expansion of the village. The mine closed in 1969 and is now home to the Severn Valley Country Park. 

Chelmarsh is a village within the Highley Place Plan area, being 4 miles south of Bridgnorth on the B4555 road to Highley. The main activities are farming and tourism, with the village having a population of about 500 people. Various activities are based at the hall and social club in the village. The hamlet of Hampton is by the River Severn and close to the Severn Valley Railway, which has a period station in Hampton.   

Chelmarsh Reservoir attracts many species of wild birds, and there are two public bird hides near the ‘scrape’. The reservoir is home to an enthusiastic sailing club whose refurbished facilities were opened by Princess Anne in 2004.  

List of parishes and elected members

This Place Plan covers the following Parish Councils: 

The following Elected Members of Shropshire Council represent constituencies within this Place Plan area: 

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 Highley and the surrounding area, the relevant plans include: 

  • Highley Parish Plan