Copthorne Barracks: Signatures to save Shrewsbury site more than double - with video

A petition to save Copthorne Barracks has doubled its number of signatures in two weeks.

The online petition was first publicised in the Shropshire Star on December 27 when a little over 300 people had added their name to it. Today, more than 650 signatures have been collected.

Members of the Light Infantry Association want to preserve the site and use it as a base for homeless ex-servicemen and women who need help when leaving the forces.

Campaigners want to preserve Copthorne Barracks for homeless ex-servicemen and women
Campaigners want to preserve Copthorne Barracks for homeless ex-servicemen and women

Speaking at a gathering of veterans at the barracks, Norman Mcguigan, 55, who served in the First Battallion of the Light Infantry from 1979 onwards, said the fight to save the barracks was ongoing.

He said: “It is going well, we have got some great support.

“Since the input of the Shropshire Star, the people of Shrewsbury are certainly more interested.

“People in Shrewsbury want to see the history and heritage retained as part of the town’s history. This is the home of the Light Infantry so we would like to see museums from Shrewsbury and Durham here too, so all the county’s regiments can come here to pay their respects.

“The fight still goes on as far as we are concerned.” Mr Mcguigan said homelessness among former soldiers was a growing problem and the barracks would be a perfect place to provide a facility for those affected.

The Ministry of Defence wants to build 228 homes on the site, while campaigners want it to be used as a shelter for homeless ex-servicemen and women.

Previously, transport experts said they were concerned about the access to the site, especially around the Barracks Lane junction and The Mount.

But a highways report in December said following discussions with the developers and improvements made to the design of the junction, there are no longer any objections from a transport perspective.

The report also states only over-60s, who have retired early due to infirmity or incapacity, widows or widowers or a dependant of a resident falling within these categories, should be allowed to live in the retirement homes as the parking provision does not make enough allowance for general occupation.

A number of conditions have been attached to the report, including no vehicular access to the site until the agreed work to the junction in question being carried out.

The report also says the final application should include no permanent through-route for vehicles between Copthorne Road and The Mount other than for emergency vehicles.

To see the petition, visit

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Comments for: "Copthorne Barracks: Signatures to save Shrewsbury site more than double - with video"


If the planning and development goes ahead, will you be attempting to set up a base for the homeless elsewhere then?


The infrastructure, roads particularly, can not support any more houses. therefore almost any other use is preferable. University, Care and recuperation centre for the Army or NHS. Reseach and development centre for JLR. You name it and it's abetter use than houses. What Shrewsbury needs more than anything is quality jobs with higher incomes to spent in the town. Zero Hours minimum wage jobs are drag on the economy. We will succeed or fail on the quality of jobs in the town. The Barracks is clearly an opportunity to bring in in an employer, we are not short of houses for sale to high earners.


Employers do not want to be in areas where access will be a problem Roger nor where there is more potential for disputes with neighbours.

This site is ideal for homes with it's location.

The value of the site would preclude many organisations being attracted.

Alaska Business Park was sited with the specific intention of infilling with re-siting the football stadium and houses in the future.

Most town businesses have relocated to it with modern technology requiring modern buildings.


It would be wrong to presume at this stage that the existing buildings are to be demolished to make way for 228 new residences. To do so, would be to have missed the fundamental purpose of the veterans’ campaign. That is, to save some of these 130 year plus historic buildings and parts of the site as heritage assets.

The local council are also of the strong opinion that some of these buildings need to be preserved on historic and heritage grounds. The council would like to see a mixed use for the site.

Of course, one then has to suggest appropriate uses they can be put to. This is the second element of the veterans’ campaign.

Such use, would not only continue the military related use and connection with Shrewsbury, but would also help Shrewsbury meet its obligations under the Military Covenant. It would also involve far less that the 228 new residences suggested by the outline planning application – under which by the way, only 6 new affordable housing properties would be available.

There are numerous objections from local residents arguing that a residential development of 228 properties would place even more strain on already overburdened local services, schools and infrastructure. That could hardly be called ideal. Especially when the Highways department feel it necessary to place the below restriction on the site application:

“For the Lifetime of the development: -

7. Vehicular access to and from Barracks Lane and The Mount shall be restricted to the site area proposed for the Retirement Living Accommodation shown on the submitted Proposed Housing Masterplans (Drawing No’s 005 Rev P0 and 003 Rev P0) unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason: In the interests of Highway safety as the proposed vehicular access off The Mount is not considered suitable to serve the whole of the development site hereby approved.

8. The occupation of the Retirement Living Accommodation aspect of this proposed development hereby approved shall be limited to persons who (a) have reached the age of 60 or over, or (b) have taken early retirement due to infirmity or incapacity, or (c) a widow or widower or partner of a person falling within (a) or (b), or (d) a dependant of a resident falling within (a), (b) or (c) residing with him/her.

Reason: The parking provision provided in the development does not make sufficient provision for general occupation.

I fully agree with Ottway

Shrewsbury Town needs jobs Shrewsbury Town needs investment . Safe the Baracks and bring them back to life . Use the Baracks to rehabilitate , use the work shops for enterprise , turn the blocks into B&B which has also be suggested . The possibilities are endless .

So let the charities come together with the Town council and invest .

History saved in a Town which needs a little tourism brought in through having the museum back safely in its new home .

A home back for many and The freedom of the Town for your county Regiment secure ........ homeless veterans having the correct treatment they deserve......... surley that's the right thing to do .


Agreed. There are any number of creative uses this historical site could be a home for.