Shrewsbury can use developer funds to help deliver Big Town Plan

Shrewsbury Town Council can tap into money set aside by developers to deliver some of the pledges in the Big Town Plan, the leader of Shropshire Council has said.

The new look of Shrewsbury under the Big Town Plan
The new look of Shrewsbury under the Big Town Plan

Shrewsbury Town Council agreed to adopt its Big Town Plan on Monday at a meeting, after it was recently backed by Shropshire Council.

It has been more than a year in the making and will now act as a blue print for development of the town over the next two decades.

At the meeting, council chair Peter Nutting – who is also the leader of Shropshire Council – said he thinks there is an opportunity to tap into the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) money to complete some of the smaller schemes.

CIL money is made up of contributions from developers, and has proved controversial because communities have struggled to access funding after developments in local areas.

He said: "The smaller things in the plan could be helped by CIL money.

"I think Shropshire Council officers have been difficult over the CIL money and parish councils have found the same problem.

"This is now going to act as a blueprint over the coming years, we have seen a few blueprints in this town.

"But Shropshire Council officers need to be more relaxed as I would have liked them to be."

Promenade

Some of the more ambitious plans include revamping the entrance to Shrewsbury Railway Station and making it a pedestrian only area, and creating a one-level public promenade between the town centre and the river.

The joint project has been between Shropshire Council, the town council and Shrewsbury BID and four key locations in the town have been identified for improvement and development – the Flaxmill Maltings, the northern corridor and railway station, Riverside and the West End.

It also sets out goals to improve transport links, encourage new business, open up the housing market and make the town greener.

Council leader Alan Moseley also said the "proof will be in the pudding", over the next 15 to 20 years, and that investment will be needed to make things happen.

Nic Laurens, county councillor has stepped down from the cabinet, and his role helping this project.

Councillors were informed of this on Monday and agreed to thank him, with his work being covered by county councillor Steve Charmley and councillor Nutting.

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