Shrewsbury North West Relief Road wins town council backing
The bid to build Shrewsbury's £104 million relief road has received the backing of the town's council.
Members of Shrewsbury Town Council's planning committee voted unanimously to support the proposal, which has been the focus of a recent consultation to refresh the business case for the development.
A fresh business case is to be submitted to government next month in an attempt to persuade them to release the funds needed for the project.
The council committee gave its backing to the project after a presentation by Gary Dymond of WSP on behalf of Shropshire Council last month.
He told the members that the business case will be submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) on December 23.
In the spring next year the DfT will make a decision on which of 12 national projects competing for government funding, including the relief road, will receive them.
If the funding for the road is approved then a planning application for the project would be submitted in the winter of 2018, construction work would start in 2020, and be completed two years later.
Mr Dymond told councillors that Shropshire Council would be responsible for any overspend on the project, but that the development would be following a robust estimate scheme and is not expected to run over budget.
The road would link the west side of Shrewsbury starting at Holyhead Road roundabout to the North at Battlefield.
The project has received criticism from some quarters, with Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth launching a petition calling on the leader of the council to stop work on the plans.
Frank Oldaker from Shrewsbury Friends of the Earth said: "The financial situation the council finds itself in could hardly be more serious for the people of Shropshire. This is almost all because of government policy but in the circumstances the council should not be making the situation significantly worse by funding the North West Relief Road. Based on the evaluation of other similar schemes opened in the last 20 years it is highly unlikely that the claimed benefits would be realised anyway."
More than 600 people took part in a series of consultation events held to refresh the business case.