Consultation on Oswestry's biggest changes for a generation begins

Major plans to transform a county town and its transport links are set to go before the public from today.

The consultation opened today.
The consultation opened today.

Shropshire Council is urging people to tell them what they think of Oswestry now – and how they want it to change in future.

Along with Oswestry Town Council and Oswestry BID, the council wants to know what kind of developments residents, businesses and visitors want in years to come – and crucially how the town’s public transport system and road network could be upgraded.

It forms part of the Future Oswestry Plan, which aims to make the biggest changes to the town in a generation.

Areas understood to be included in the plans include the former Morrison's store in Beatrice Street and the adjacent bus station.

Transport upgrades could impact the town’s rail connection, with the nearest station in use currently being Gobowen, three miles away.

An online survey launched today and will be open for a month, with questions giving people chance to say what they want changing or introduced to the town centre.

Councillor Steve Charmley, deputy leader of Shropshire Council, said: “This is an important time for Oswestry as we cast our eyes to the future and what we can do to capitalise on all that is good about the town.

“We have recently appointed Allies & Morrison as urban practitioners to help guide the Future Oswestry Group as we look to build an ambitious, collective vision for the future.

“But a major part of that is hearing from our key partners, our residents and visitors about what they want to see included in this plan.

“Oswestry is already a wonderful town that we can be very proud of, from locations of historic importance, to beautiful green spaces, superb independent traders and a nationally celebrated market.

“But we know that there is more that we can do moving forward to develop it further and this is just the start of our efforts to take people’s views on board.”

The town has already benefited this year from a share of a £167,000 pot to help town centres impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Funding will be used to enhance the appearance of Oswestry through cleaning of major pedestrian areas and pavements in the town centre, painting of street furniture, improvements to lighting and seating areas, plus updating and replacing the town maps.

New Oswestry town map leaflets and better promotion of the town using social media will help to increase local footfall and encourage visitors from a larger catchment.

And last month, it was announced the town will receive £653,080 funding for its high street as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone, delivered by Historic England.

People can take part in the survey by visiting: giveyourviews.typeform.com/to/oBuA6yPG or e-mailing: futureoswestry@shropshire.gov.uk

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