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Roads chiefs back £50 million holiday venue plan for Astbury Estate near Bridgnorth

By Dominic Robertson | Bridgnorth | News | Published:

Council roads experts say they have no objections to £50 million plans to convert the Astbury Estate near Bridgnorth into a 'world class leisure venue'.

The planned main complex entrance at Astbury Hall

Shropshire Council's planning officials have been assessing details of the proposed refurbishment, including the plans for the surrounding roads.

Local residents and councillors have raised concerns about the impact an increase in traffic - including construction traffic - could have on the roads in the area.

In a letter assessing the proposals for roadworks, it states that conditions should be included with any planning permission that ensure the work is completed before the centre opens to the public.

The council officials say that while the development will increase the number of cars on the roads – particularly on the B4555 – it would not lead to a situation where the council would be against the plans.

The report states: "Based on the information submitted, it is acknowledged that the development will increase the number of vehicles movements along the B4555, and the surrounding highway network, however, the figures contained within the transport assessment and technical note are worse-case scenarios when the development is operating at full capacity. It is not considered that there is material grounds to consider a highways refusal for any of the applications submitted.

"Shropshire Council as highway authority would need to demonstrate that the B4555 and surrounding highway network do not have the capacity to support a development of this nature. It is not considered a highway objection could be sustained on this basis."

The report adds: "Shropshire Council as highway authority raises no objection to the granting of consent for the above mentioned planning application."

Resurfacing

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A number of proposals are included in the plans, from developers FCFM, along the B4363 to Eardington.

They include fresh signs, road markings and resurfacing.

Under the plans FCFM also want to build an underpass across Astbury Lane to allow golf buggies to cross without affecting the road.

The council officials welcomed the proposals for the underpass but said more detail will be needed.

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The report states: "The construction of the underpass is supported by Shropshire Council as highway authority, as it is considered that it will reduce disruption on the highway and remove the need for golf buggies to drive on the highway, which is illegal.

"Preliminary details of the proposed underpass have been submitted as part of the planning applications. However, the construction of the underpass will be subject to further legal agreements and technical check prior to construction. Consideration will also need to be give to the future maintenance of the structure which will be supporting the highway.

"It is therefore recommended that a planning condition is attached to any permission granted that technical details of the proposed construction of the underpass are submitted for approval."

The proposals for the Astbury have been submitted to Shropshire Council in three sections.

The first includes building a leisure and spa building, two swimming pools, a farm shop, a function room, restaurant and spa, an outdoor lido pool, tennis courts, bowling greens, a new nine-hole golf course and an 18-hole putting green.

The second and third applications are for 135 and 140 holiday let lodges around the 354 acre estate.

The estate, which includes a top class 18-hole golf course, was owned by former Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing, but was put up for sale in 2017 after four of his businesses went into administration.

A decision on the plans will be taken by the council in the coming months.

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