British Ironwork Centre application backed - with plans to manage A5 traffic
Highways experts have backed a retrospective planning application at the British Ironwork Centre.
But the tourist attraction on the outskirts of Oswestry faces a series of stringent conditions if it wishes to continue.
These include starting work within the next 12 months on improving its entrance and exit, and providing a plan for managing vehicle movements during events.
Robert Jaffier, asset and resource manager, said: “This scheme is necessary due to the volume of traffic associated with the development which has implications for the continued safe operation of the A5.
"The proposed access junction mitigation measures therefore should be implemented as soon as practicably possible.
“We note that management of parking on-site and the avoidance of off-site parking on the A5 trunk road will be necessary to support the physical mitigation measures proposed by the applicant to ensure the safe operation of the A5.
“We note however that beyond the typical day-to-day operation of the site that events at the British Ironwork Centre are a common feature of its operation.
“Our review of the event schedule for the British Ironwork Centre, as displayed on their website, notes several music, children’s and other events which are likely to prove to be popular.
"Where the traffic implications of such events may be significant then these should be managed to ensure vehicular traffic can safely access and egress the site via the A5.
“We therefore recommend the applicant agree an event management plan which will detail how the applicant intends to manage traffic arising from visitors into and out of the British Ironwork Centre on event days in circumstances where such events are likely to significantly exceed the development traffic flows considered as part of the application.
“Such a plan should suitably manage the effects of event traffic on the surrounding road network and provide particular consideration to the times when such traffic will coincide with peak hours on the A5 trunk road.”
Mr Jaffier’s comments come after the Ironworks was forced to close in February 2016 when a half-term event proved so popular visitors ended up queuing on the A5.
It was revealed just weeks later that a large proportion of the business did not have planning permission.
An application was submitted later that year but was withdrawn at the end of 2017 after highways and landscaping concerns had not been addressed.
The latest application submitted in June is seeking permission for how the centre uses its existing buildings as a rural enterprise and land as a sculpture park and for car parking.
It also features a revised entrance and exit with the creation of a visibility splay.
A decision on the application is expected from Shropshire Council planning officers by October 15.
By Emily Lloyd, Local Democracy Reporter