Shropshire Star

Minister to look into North West Relief Road delays after Daniel Kawczynski's letter

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is to investigate the delays around a controversial Shropshire road project.

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Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski has written to Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey over his concerns about "excessive" and "continuous" demands by the Environment Agency to slow the progress of the Shrewsbury North West Relief Road.

The project was due before Shropshire Council's planning committee next month but has been delayed after the Environment Agency’s (EA) requested additional information from Shropshire Council.

In his letter, he told Ms Coffey: "Environmental factors need to be considered, but I feel that the EA’s continuous demands and ability to obstruct progress over the past four years are excessive."

Mr Kawczynski says he helped secure funding for the project in 2019, and has urged the Secretary of State to assist if she can help move the project forward.

The MP now says Ms Coffey has contacted him to say she will investigate the delays that have hampered the project.

He said on Thursday: "She sent me a WhatsApp this morning at 9am to say she is willing to investigate this case along with 19 other cases across country which have faced similar delays directly with National Chief Executive of Environment Agency."

The four-mile road, which would stretch from Churncote island to Battlefield, would effectively complete a Shrewsbury ring road. More than 5,000 objections have been submitted against the planning application, with people raising concerns over the environmental impact and cost.

However, Shropshire Council wants to press ahead with the project, which the Conservative-led administration believes will bring cleaner air to the town centre and economic benefits for Shrewsbury and surrounding areas.