Shropshire Star

Oswestry business park site used as Prisoner of War camp

An examination is to be carried out on the site of a proposed business park was used as a Prisoner of War camp in the First World War, in order to determine whether any archaeological remains hold any significance ahead of any work starting.


Shropshire Council has confirmed that the planned 60-acre Oswestry Innovation Park, located just off the Mile End roundabout, was used as a Prisoner of War camp for a number of years.

The site is earmarked as a "key future employment site" by the local authority, and last week deputy leader Councillor Steve Charmley pledged that work would start on it before the end of the year.

He said the site could create up to 3,000 new jobs.

But Oswestry resident Len Evans contacted the Shropshire Star to question how work could start on the site by the end of the year because a thorough assessment of the site would be required given its history.

He said: "I think this end of year target is unrealistic, especially given the site's history, and I believe ammunition is actually buried at the site.

"This site has been talked about for a number of years now and if a thorough assessment hasn't yet been carried out, how is it possibly that work could begin by the end of the year."

Gemma Davies, Shropshire Council's head of economic growth, said: "In view of the potential archaeological significance of land within the proposed development site, a desk-based Heritage Assessment has been completed to inform the development considerations and site constraints.

"The site was used for a period of time as a Prisoner of War camp, and therefore the report recommends that further field evaluation takes place to locate and assess the extent, survival and significance of any archaeological remains for this locally important heritage asset.

"This further evaluation is part of the next detailed stages, and will enable an informed planning decision to be made regarding the archaeological implications and any actions or mitigation required."

She added: "It's important to note that the potential development of the site is still in the preparation stage, and we will be carrying out further full site investigations as part of the planning application.

"Oswestry Innovation Park is a key future employment site, as set out in the SAMDev."