Plans unveiled for £45 million Oswestry innovation park

Plans for the long-awaited £45 million Oswestry Innovation Park have been unveiled.

How the Oswestry Innovation Park could look.
How the Oswestry Innovation Park could look.

Almost 1,300 jobs are expected to be created at a proposed hotel and 21 business units on the site, next to Mile End roundabout.

Work could start as early as this year on the first phase of the scheme, according to proposals lodged with Shropshire Council planners.

A statement by the council’s agent, WSP, says the development will “deliver significant economic and regenerative benefits for Shropshire and the West Midlands region”.

The application seeks full permission for the main spine road through the site, accessed from the new secondary island currently being constructed next to Mile End, and outline permission of the units themselves. The final designs will be subject to a later application.

An indicative site layout shows how the units will be built in four phases

The planning statement says: “(The development) would boost local confidence in the area as an economically vibrant location for further regeneration and intensification of development and provide new facilities to support the local economy and wider community.

“In addition, there would be associated benefits for the local community as a result of the proposed development, including improved access to flexible employment premises and employment generation on-site during construction and operation.”

The document says the construction phase, expected to last three years, would create 81 jobs, with the completed innovation park creating an estimated 1,297 roles when fully operational – boosting the local economy by more than £322m gross value added (GVA) a year.

Footpaths and cycleways will link the innovation park to a new bridge over the A5, providing car-free access to and from the town centre.

Flexible

The business park will be constructed in four phases, with the first including construction of the hotel, an electricity substation, two large business units and four smaller premises.

Phase two will see the delivery of 10 light industrial units and a larger business unit.

Phase three is for two large distribution units, and the phase four will see the construction of the final two large mixed use units.

The planning statement says the construction phase will provide apprenticeship and training opportunities, while the hotel will create “lower skilled jobs…which typically draw employees from the local area, providing an important benefit for residents within Shropshire”.

It adds: “Provision of new flexible office and manufacturing premises would attract innovative firms and support incubator and accelerator businesses and potentially small start-ups.

“These types of companies would likely attract and employ skilled employees and offer employment opportunities for those people with higher level qualifications within Shropshire.”

The statement concludes: “This proposed development would deliver approximately 18 hectares of the employment land allocated at this site which is needed to enable the economic growth and deliver on the wider strategy for Oswestry.

“It would allow for investment and job creation in Oswestry. It would also provide the balance required between new housing and employment opportunities.”

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