Wolves footballer Dave Edwards has play centre plans approved
Plans by footballer Dave Edwards to open a new play centre in Shrewsbury have won permission.
Wolves star Edwards, who started his career at Shrewsbury Town, applied earlier this year to Shropshire Council to open a children's play area in Monkmoor, creating 10 jobs.
The 29-year-old Wales international midfielder wants to develop a showroom at the Maverick Business Park into a play barn called Little Rascals. The building had been formerly used as bathroom outlet.
Along with co-owner Ben Wootton, he plans to open the soft play centre, which will be aimed at babies and children up to the age of 12, in October.
Mr Edwards, a father of two, said: "We think Shrewsbury is crying out for something like this.
"Both Ben and I have young children, and we travel to Oswestry and Telford for children's birthday parties and days out at play barns at the moment."
There will also be a sensory room for children with special needs, a car track area and a football pitch as well as a food area serving healthy snacks and drinks.
The footballer said that, as part of the application, a market survey was carried out to determine whether there was a demand for such a centre.
He said more than 100 people were questioned and the survey found that there was a need for a play barn in the locality aimed at children up to the age of 12.
One objection to the plans was received on the grounds of noise from increased traffic, but planners decided that the application was viable and granted them full planning permission through delegated powers.
In his design statement Mr Edwards said: "The facility will provide a safe and secure environment for children to attend with their parents, giving them the opportunity to mix with a range of children from different socio-economic groups and different ages.
"The existing road network can accommodate the proposed traffic flows. The structure and facade of the existing building will be retained, so there will be no environmental impact.
"Since the proposed site is enclosed in its own grounds, there will be no adverse impact on other businesses.
"The premises that will house the facility are currently defunct and this proposal will effectively give them a use and a purpose allowing them to contribute to the local economy."
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