Shrewsbury North West Relief Road could be considered before Christmas

The controversial Shrewsbury North West Relief Road would bring in more than £266m a year to the county, a leader has said – and plans could be considered before Christmas.

The proposed North West Relief Road
The proposed North West Relief Road

Councillor Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council cabinet's infrastructure lead, said he anticipated a rise in the economic benefit the proposed road would provide, and that work is being done so a planning application can be considered ahead of the festive period.

The project has faced huge criticism, with multiple protests held against it and more than 4,400 objections lodged previously. Many raised concerns over environmental damage and spiralling construction costs of the four-mile stretch of road, which would run from Churncote island to Battlefield.

At Shropshire Council's latest full council meeting, Conservative councillor for Burnell Dan Morris, who is in favour of the road, asked for an updated timescale on when the road could be built.

He said: "The desire and need to build the NWRR was a democratically taken majority decision by Shropshire Council members. A large sum of funding was awarded by the Department for Transport to help build the road. Many people I speak to are increasingly frustrated by the delays of getting this road built.

"Please could the cabinet member update council on what is currently holding the planning process up, when he expects the NWRR to go before Planning Committee, the plans to mitigate current inflationary pressures as a result of the delays and could he update council when he expects contracts to be awarded and when he thinks the road will now be in use?"

Mr Carroll said: "The project team are currently undertaking more detailed design work to seek to remove objections raised by the Environment Agency and Natural England during the Planning Consultation. The project team remain confident that outcomes of the work will result in objections being removed.

"The detailed work currently being undertaken is work that was planned for post planning consent and so the delay will not have a significant detriment to timescales. It is hoped that a resolution will be reached in the coming weeks and that a planning application can be considered before Christmas.

"The web site will be updated to reflect the new timescales once the date of the Planning Committee has been confirmed."

Mr Carroll added that in 2017, the predicted economic benefit the road would provide the county with was £266 million a year, and that the council would anticipate that number would increase with inflation.

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