Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski concerned over relief road delays

Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has raised concerns over continuing delays in approval for the town's £81 million North West Relief Road – and has hit out at the town council's opposition to the plan.

Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski has raised concerns over delays to the North West Relief Road
Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski has raised concerns over delays to the North West Relief Road

The Conservative MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham said he was frustrated at delays in the progress of the Shropshire Council plan for the major road.

The application for the controversial project had been due to be considered by Shropshire Council's planning committee at the end of last year.

But questions over the impact of the project from the Environment Agency, and other agencies such as Natural England, need answering before it can go before the committee.

It is currently expected to be considered later this year – but no date has been set.

Even after it goes to the planning committee the council will then have to submit a full business case for the project to the Government.

An artist's impression of how Shrewsbury's North West Relief Road may look

Mr Kawczynski, who has been a long-time campaigner for the North West Relief Road, and was part of securing £54m from the Government towards the project, said he was worried that the development was dragging on – in a similar fashion to delays seen with the county's Future Fit hospitals reorganisation.

He said the concern was that the longer the project is delayed, the more the potential for costs to rise – as has been seen with Future Fit, where the initial plans were awarded £312m from the government, but are now believed to cost more than £500m to achieve.

Mr Kawczynski said: "The Shrewsbury business community in all my discussions with the chamber of commerce, with local residents, this project is absolutely essential for Shrewsbury's ongoing prosperity and I am concerned about the ongoing delays to the construction of this road."

He said he would be pressing the council and the Environment Agency and to address the outstanding issues so the matter could go before the planning committee for a decision.

"No stone must be left unturned in scrutinising the Environment Agency and the council to ensure that the construction is started as soon as possible." he said.

"People have been waiting for five decades for this to go ahead."

Mr Kawczynski was also critical of Shrewsbury Town Council, which has voted to oppose the plan and has written to the Government urging it to scrap the scheme.

He said: "I would like to ask the town council to formally explain their position to Shrewsbury Business Chamber, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and all the other important business representatives that represent the business community of our town, to give an explanation of how they can justify the opposition to an £80m investment that the MP has secured."

He added: "I would say the town council is doing the people of Shrewsbury a great disservice."

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