Serious concerns as link road disappears from Ellesmere homes plan

A new road to remove traffic from Ellesmere town centre while a new housing development is being built has disappeared from the plans.

In December 2016 Shropshire Council gave outline permission for a hotel, restaurant, caravan plots, holiday cabins, a marina, and 250 homes off Canal Way.

Burbury Investments Ltd has now submitted a reserved matters application for the first phase of 99 houses.

After supporting the initial plans, Ellesmere Town Council and Ellesmere Rural Parish Council have raised serious concerns about access.

It was supported on the basis that a new link road would be built from the A495 Oswestry Road for the first phase of the development.

In a letter to Shropshire Council's planning department, the town council said: "The current application does not address the main objection to the previous application - that it does not provide for the construction of a link road from Oswestry Road.

"On the basis of the current application, all construction traffic to and from the site, and all vehicle movements once the development is completed, will be along Canal Way and through the town.

"This will create unacceptable levels of additional traffic through a residential area, with potential impact on residential amenity and pedestrian safety - particularly during the construction phase."

It is feared that once the homes are built, an additional 200 homes will be forced to use the already narrow and congested Canal Way.

'Smoke screen'

The application supersedes a similar one for 50 homes which was submitted then later withdrawn last year.

The Mayor of Ellesmere, Councillor Paul Goulbourne, has also questioned the other aspects of the original outline planning application which included a range of amenities.

He remains hopeful that the much-needed hotel will come to fruition but fears it may have been a "smoke screen" to get the homes built.

"The plans for the homes have been submitted but there's no sign of Ellesmere ever getting anything else that was planned," he added.

"I and many others will be so disappointed if the marina, hotel and restaurants never get built. I hope it wasn't just a smoke screen.

"We can't just have 250 homes and no additional infrastructure but it seems to have fallen at the last hurdle."

In 2018 town traders said they felt 'left in the dark' over the plans.

Businessman Lincoln McMullan, who was the chairman of the Ellesmere Chamber of Commerce when the proposals were going through the planning process, said the town is anxious to see it go ahead.

He has tried numerous times over the last four years to make contact with Nigel Thorns Planning Consultancy, the agent acting on behalf of the developer, to no avail.

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