‘Phenomenal’ marina bid would bring dozens of jobs to Market Drayton
"Phenomenal" plans for a new marina in Market Drayton including retail, leisure, commercial and housing sites and the potential for dozens of jobs have been revived.
A project to build a marina off the Shropshire Union Canal at Victoria Wharf is part of Shropshire Council's new place plan for Market Drayton and the surrounding area.
It would include "development of a marina, ancillary retail, leisure and commercial uses and new enabling housing".
The place plan, released last week, identifies key projects for the area in the coming years. The marina idea, which has been mooted by town councillors for years, is among them.
Other priorities mentioned in the document include building hundreds of houses, relocating the Greenfields sports facility, upgrading the electricity supply and various roadwork schemes across the town and nearby parishes.
The plan said that the marina idea is under discussion and the costs are not yet known, but that it is being "actively promoted" by agents.
It was previously included in Market Drayton Town Council's draft for a Neighbourhood Plan, which was rejected by Shropshire Council's cabinet last year after an independent examiner said it did not meet basic conditions.
A town councillor who has long been a proponent of the marina idea said it was "phenomenal" and could bring dozens of new jobs to the town.
Councillor Mark Whittle said: "The original marina was supposed to hold 300 to 400 houses and 300 boats, a hotel and a garden centre.
"That means lots of jobs."
He said that whatever shape the marina takes, it will mean more employment opportunities for Market Drayton.
"We have got national and international companies coming to town. As far as they are concerned we are a growing concern.
"It brings more and more jobs to the town. I think it is brilliant news for Drayton."
The marina development is listed as a Priority B project in the place plan, meaning it is "infrastructure which will support development in a number of ways and/or a number of locations".
Priority A projects, which are "infrastructure which will unlock development", include 1,200 new housing units to be built by 2026 and new classrooms at schools in the town.
The plan also mentions the Clive Barracks at Tern Hill, which the council sees as a "strategic site" for development once it closes in 2025.
To view the Market Drayton and surrounding area place plan in full, visit shropshire.gov.uk/place-plans