New plans for former Oswestry livestock market land
Valuable development land left unused in Oswestry for years could finally get a new lease of life under new plans.
The site on Shrewsbury Road, formerly part of the town’s livestock market, was to have been part of a £45 million, multi-million shopping and leisure complex incorporating a cinema. But when Cineworld pulled out of the deal it was scrapped with only the supermarket, Morrisons, being built.
That opened last month bringing 95 new jobs to the town.
Now Morrisons, which is leading the development project, says it is about to submit a new planning application to Shropshire Council requesting consent for a new range of uses for the land.
They include trade, leisure, health, retail and drive-through businesses.
One potential use could be for businesses that supply the agricultural sector.
At a recent meeting between landowner, Oswestry Town Council, and a senior asset manager for Morrison, Mr Richard Bakes, it was revealed that there had been talks with Shropshire Council over whether the land could be used for office accommodation.
However it had been decided that that would be “economically challenging” Mr Bakes told town councillors.
He also said that the site would not be put forward for residential purposes.
“The company has invested significant sums of money into the development to date and it is hopeful the additional seven acres will bring a return on the investment,” he said.
He told councillors that it was likely that the planning application would take six months to process and that Morrisons would produce a design brief to ensure a consistent look across the site.
Oswestry mayor, Councillor John Price, said he was pleased that the matter was moving forward.
“I hope it will create additional Oswestry jobs,” he said.
Councillors at the meeting suggested that one use of the land could be for businesses that supported the agricultural industry.
Planning permission for the original development was granted in 2011 and the work was originally expected to be completed in 2016.
When the new Morrisons store opened the town centre store on Oswald Road closed. The building remains shut although the petrol station has been taken over by a new company.
Mr Bakes said opportunities for its redevelopment were being discussed.