A “people’s army” will be created to fight plans for up to 1,100 homes and two out-of-town supermarkets in Newport,
About 200 people attended a meeting at the town’s Royal Victoria Hotel to discuss ways to fight separate applications for a supermarket off Audley Avenue and up to 300 homes off Moorfield Lane.
Plans drawn up by Telford & Wrekin Council, Davidsons Developments and St Modwen for 350 homes, a business park, supermarket and petrol station on greenfield land off Station Road, were also discussed.
Chairman Patrick Beech said Telford & Wrekin Council stood to make £40 million if the plans went ahead.
Newport Town Council has joined forces with the town’s regeneration partnership and Chamber of Commerce to fight the proposals.
The meeting heard fears that the Station Road supermarket would destroy the town’s High Street when brownfield sites in the town centre were available.
David Parker, chairman of the Newport Regeneration Partnership, said the town council had offered objectors a headquarters at 3A High Street, and volunteers were needed to staff it.
People with planning knowledge are also needed, as are volunteers to deliver handbills door-to-door outlining how residents could object.
Mr Parker said “I know that the odds are very heavily stacked against us, but if we get hundreds, a thousand plus letters they have to listen,”.
“What we need now is a people’s army. Are you going to be a squaddie or part of the leadership team? Either way we need you on board.”
Mr Parker said that thousands of leaflets will be printed with information about the developments and how to oppose them.
The leaflets have been part funded by a £6,000 grant from Newport Town Council, while the Partnership has also made a contribution.
Mr Parker said that volunteers were now required to deliver the leaflets to all homes in Newport and the surrounding villages.
But Kate Foster, of Lilleshall, warned that the town needed to get national attention as part of its battle, otherwise, she said, the developers would win, as they had in other Shropshire towns, such as Oswestry and Whitchurch.
She said the council would find it “hard to resist” developing the land when it had a budget deficit.
Anyone interested in volunteering can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org