Shropshire Star

Shropshire Council addresses concerns over relief road as MP blasts authorities for delays

Shropshire Council has submitted further technical information to its planning application to build an £80 million relief road on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.

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An artist's impression of how the Shewsbury North West Relief Road will look

The additions to the authority's original planning application for the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road will mean that it will be at least another 60 days before the council's planning committee can consider the scheme.

The new road, which will provide a new, single-carriageway road linking the northern and western parts of Shrewsbury, has already been hit with delays.

The application was originally expected to go before the council's planning committee at the end of 2021 – but the scheme has still not been considered by councillors.

One of the reasons for the delay has been the Environment Agency asking for more detail on the proposals.

Shropshire Council has now provided answers to points raised by the Environment Agency and Natural England, in particular about the effect the road could have on their specific areas of interest.

The additions mean that the application is open again for public comments for 30 days, and new comments relevant to this new technical information added to the application can now be made.

Meanwhile, MP Daniel Kawczynski has criticised the delays that have taken almost four years to bring the project to this stage.

The Member of Parliament for Shrewsbury and Atcham said: "I was obviously delighted that after a long campaign I succeeded in obtaining the £56 million from the Department of Transport towards the cost of this road.

"I am however deeply concerned that since I secured this money in 2019 it has taken local authorities over four years to get to this stage.

"I understand and respect the need for us as a society to maintain high environmental standards, however, once this project has secured planning, I will be asking various questions about the process the council and Environment Agency have been through."

He added that the delays would mean extra costs for taxpayers and that he would be raising the issue in Parliament with an eye to streamlining planning legislation as well as referring the matter to Thérèse Coffey MP, the Secretary of State for Defra.

Those who wish to comment on Shropshire Council's updates to its planning application can do so by visiting and searching for application number 21/00924/EIA.

After the 30-day period and if no further material issues arise, it is expected that the planning application will come to Northern Planning Committee for consideration in the spring.

Richard Marshall, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet lead for highways, said: “This is the next procedural step in the planning process, and we must ensure that people have the opportunity to comment on this new information that has been added to the application.

“Once this consultation period is complete we are confident that the application for the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road can then come to committee for determination.

“This an issue in which there is considerable public interest and, as soon as the next step of the process is confirmed, we will be ensuring that this is well publicised.”

When built the North West Relief Road will include a new bridge over the River Severn and its flood plain, and a new bridge over the Shrewsbury-Chester railway line.

It will also connect to existing roads with new roundabouts.

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