Oswestry Morrisons bosses get change in rules over store sale
Supermarket bosses have taken a major step forward with plans to move out of Oswestry town centre to a new store.
Morrisons will open a new supermarket on the former Smithfield site in Shrewsbury Road, later this year.
It has now been given permission to market off its current base in Beatrice Street and Station Road to other retailers other than supermarkets.
Under its current planning conditions, the supermarket, which is still based at the town centre site, can only be used as long as it is made up of 90 per cent food, drink, tobacco or household cleaning products.
But bosses have successfully applied to Shropshire Council to remove the clause, meaning it can be marketed as general retail space, becoming attractive to a wider range of retailers, including clothing.
In its application to Shropshire Council, Morrisons said: “The store was granted permission on January 12, 1984, subject to a number of conditions.
“The supermarket was constructed as per the approved plans and was occupied by Somerfield, prior to a takeover by Morrisons in 2009.
“Condition two of the planning permission was that not less than 90 per cent of the net retail floor area of the proposed supermarket shall be used for the sale of food, drink, tobacco and household cleaning materials.
“Following the granting of planning permission for a new Morrisons supermarket at the former Smithfield Livestock Market in December 2018, Morrisons will be relocating from their site at Station Road in due course, and the vacant unit will be marketed to other retailers.
“Condition two as it stands, is very restrictive as to the potential retailers.
“The removal of this condition will ensure that the unit remains attractive to the market and occupied into the future, in turn leading to the vitality and viability of Oswestry being maintained and enhanced.”
Granting permission, Shannon Franklin, Shropshire Council planning officer, said: “The removal of condition two is considered to be acceptable.
“No harm to the adjacent conservation area, nor conflict with adopted policy is identified and therefore approval is recommended.”
The store has long been linked with a number of major names who are said to be interested in coming to the town.