Ellesmere traders 'left in the dark' over town development
Traders say they feel "left in the dark" over plans for a major town development which were approved but have yet to materialise.
It is nearly two years since the ambitious proposals for 250 homes, a hotel, bar and restaurant, marina and holiday cabins in Ellesmere were given outline planning permission.
Burbury Investments Ltd wanted to build the large-scale development off Canal Way, but there is no sign of the project progressing.
Lincoln McMullan, owner of the Signtists in Scotland Street, who was chairman of the Ellesmere Chamber of Commerce when the proposals were going through the planning process, said people want to know what is happening.
He said: "I'm as much in the dark as everyone else. The town is just waiting and is anxious to move on because the shops really need the income. The hotel would make it a more vibrant place and would bring in much needed customers.
"I have tried to get in touch with the planning consultant many times but failed to hear anything back. The people of Ellesmere deserve to know what is going on. We need to know."
Mr McMullan said he has tried numerous times to make contact with Nigel Thorns Planning Consultancy, the agent acting on behalf of the developer, to no avail.
Businesswoman Ismay Evans, who owns Ismay's in High Street, said the silence is "frustrating".
She added: "The development is one of those things that the town needs. It needs to go ahead and not hearing anything is frustrating.
"I know there are some people in the town that don't agree with it but from a business point of view, it's something that will put Ellesmere a bit more on the map.
"No way is the town dead, but it could do with the extra boost."
However, Shropshire Councillor for Ellesmere, Ann Hartley is still optimistic that the long-awaited development will still go ahead.
Councillor Hartley, said: "I honestly don't know anything but I would like to see it go ahead quickly. It is something I have been working on for 20 years. It just seems to be going on and on.
"It got outline planning permission two years ago, and that's still there, but I've not had any updates.
"We would love a nice hotel in Ellesmere and I would like to see the town developed. I imagine the developers might be trying to source someone to build the hotel, and similar with the marina. Times are uncertain at the moment, as with everything, but there's no immediate concern that it won't go ahead."
Nigel Thorns Planning Consultancy was unavailable for comment.