Protesters in Shropshire say housing for ‘affluent commuters and rich retirees’ will ruin a site of national importance and set back archaeological research
Old Oswestry is one of Europe’s best preserved iron age hill forts, a site that has existed for more than 3,000 years and can be seen for miles around.
The war poet Wilfred Owen completed his army training on the grassy mounds of Old Oswestry, which is also said to be the birthplace of King Arthur’s wife, Guinevere. It is likely that the Shropshire lad himself, AE Housman, would have spent time admiring the views from the fort’s majestic summit on the Shropshire-Wales border.
Now, in what critics say is a result of the government’s new planning policy, proposals have been drawn up to build almost 200 luxury homes next to the ancient site, angering local residents and heritage groups. Some 6,000 people have signed a petition opposing the development, part of the county council’s plan to build 2,600 homes by 2026 to comply with government targets.