Shropshire Council confirms it will not bid to be Government 'Investment Zone'

Shropshire Council will not apply to be one of the Government's 'investment zones' it has confirmed.

Following its recent announcement of plans to create investment zones around the country, the Government invited Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCA) and Upper Tier Local Authorities (UTLA) in England to submit expressions of interest in introducing one in their area.

In a statement Shropshire Council’s Cabinet said it had agreed that the council will not be submitting a bid for an investment zone "in this round".

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for growth and regeneration, said the authority did not believe the current plan for investment zones would work in Shropshire.

Speaking to the Shropshire Star he explained that the decision was based on the understanding that the zones would be more focused on "re-interpretation of the planning process", rather than "providing infrastructure".

He said: "Investment zones will be a perfect fit for some areas, particularly where they have large brown field sites.

"But the necessary re-interpretation of planning is something that does not necessarily sit comfortably with Shropshire Council while we are going through the process of establishing a new local plan.

"The investment zones appear, on the information currently available, to be geared more towards enabling development by unlocking difficult planning issues, rather than providing outright the infrastructure."

In a statement issued by the council earlier today the councillor had said: "We have our own Economic Growth Strategy, backed up by the emerging Local Plan which has been developed alongside the aspirations of the people of Shropshire.

"We believe that now is the right time to focus on this locally-led approach, but we will monitor the national proposals moving forwards so that, should they develop into something that would be the right fit for Shropshire and sit comfortably alongside our local plans, then we will be in a position to take advantage of that opportunity in the future.”

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