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Delay for Shrewsbury night-life plan criticised

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A plan for the late-night opening of Shrewsbury’s pubs and clubs is “dragging on” and needs finishing as a “matter of urgency,” it has been claimed.

Shrewsbury’s Buttermarket nightclub is thriving – but councillors say they need more guidance on the town’s night-time economy

Shrewsbury town councillors have questioned why it is taking Shropshire Council so long to come up with the policy, which was first discussed last summer.

They say more guidance is needed so pub owners and residents know what is permitted and where.

The idea of planning guidance for Shrewsbury’s night-time economy was first mentioned last year amid tensions over applications for a number of premises to open later into the evening.

Shropshire Council has also said it is not working on a specific Shrewsbury plan and is instead creating a county-wide one.

However, Shrewsbury councillors say the plan needs to be specific to the town because it has a different night-time economy to the rest of the county.

Councillor Nat Green, chairman of Shrewsbury Town Council’s planning committee, said: “I feel that the evening and night time economy planning guidance has been dragging on for too long.

“My precursor Andrew Bannerman was fighting to get something done and unfortunately nothing transpired then – and particularly what you are finding there is a missmatch between what planning wants and what licensing wants and many of these applications seem to be falling straight through the middle of the two, which I do not think is to the benefit of local residents.”

Councillor Green, who represents Quarry and Coton Hill, said he does not believe a blanket policy for Shropshire will work for Shrewsbury.

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He said he wanted to see the town’s night time economy flourish, but that residents must be taken into account.

Shropshire Council has said that work on the document is still going on.

Mandy Beever, the authority’s transactional and licensing manager, said: “Shropshire Council’s licensing team are currently in the process of finalising the document with our planning colleagues and, once this has been done, the document will be forwarded to the appropriate decision-making meeting for approval.”

Councillor Alexander Phillips, who represents Bagley, said: “My issue with the night time economy is there needs to be purely a bit more guidance because it affects other decisions.

"You have a lot of establishments pushing onwards with a night time economy without the council having a planning policy for what it actually wants.”

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