‘Market village’ proposed for Oswestry

An architectural designer is urging planners to consider alternatives before making a decision on plans for a fast-food drive-through on a town's vacant site.

And impression of how the 'Market Village' could look
And impression of how the 'Market Village' could look

Craig Marston has drawn up a modern scheme to use the Smithfield site, in Oswestry, which he says will help with the local housing shortage and create jobs.

A planning application for a McDonald's restaurant is set to be determined on December 15, following a consultation process.

The land next to the new Morrison's supermarket already has outline planning permission for a car showroom, commercial units and a drive-through coffee shop.

However, Mr Marston, who runs Oswestry and Shrewsbury based Ke-design, is urging planners to reject the current proposal and look at the bigger picture.

He has put together a blueprint for a mixed-use proposal including seven blocks accommodating around 200 one-, two- and three-bed apartments, including affordable homes for first-time buyers.

Mr Marston has sent his proposals to Shropshire Council and is set to seek further consultations with the authority.

He said: "Oswestry has a housing shortage and is using villages like Morda to try and meet its quota.

"Rather than developing green fields with sprawling housing estates that require a car to access the town centre, I propose the Smithfield site is developed for much-needed residential use.

Craig Marston has put together a blueprint for a mixed-use proposal including seven blocks accommodating around 200 one, two and three-bed apartments

“The development will be much more sustainable. As the site is a 10-minute walk from the town centre, residents can use the council run leisure centre opposite, and have the countryside on their doorstep."

Other elements in Mr Marston's plan includes ground floor space for business incubator offices for start-ups and small businesses, a doctors and a dental surgery, a café and bistro, and a separate building for a children's nursery.

The proposal would also have an urban park for recreational space, a children's play area, overground and underground parking and electric charging points for cars and E-bikes.

"This proposal is modern community living, and caters for those who wish for modern life style while creating quality jobs and opportunities," said Mr Marston.

"A drive-through Mcdonald's on the old Smithfield wouldn't benefit Oswestry and would not encourage visitors to the town centre.

"It would be a better proposal if McDonalds was located as part of the Mile End Services which is currently embarrassing with the old Little Chef boarded up and potholes all over the car park."

Mr Marston, who has previously worked on urban regeneration projects in Leeds and Hong Kong, has created visuals and an animation to go alongside his proposals, and he is hoping Shropshire Council, Oswestry Town Council and Oswestry BID will meet to discuss the plans.

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