Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury MP says 'naysayers' proved wrong as persistence wins out over North West Relief Road

Shrewsbury's MP says 'persistence' had won out in the bid to secure planning permission for the North West Relief Road, and that the 'naysayers had been proved wrong'.

Daniel Kawczynski

Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham, is a long-time supporter of the scheme – and spoke in its favour when it was approved by Shropshire Council planners earlier this week.

In the wake of the decision Mr Kawczynski said he was "thrilled and delighted", and reiterated his message delivered to the council's planning committee, saying: "We have to start to think like Victorians, we have to get the town ready for the people who follow us."

The MP also said he expected the project to bring in around £150m of investment from the Government, describing the funding as "an unprecedented vote of confidence in our town".

The Government has pledged to fund 100 per cent of the road, using funds from the scrapped northern leg of HS2.

Estimates from 2019 predicted the road would cost £81m, but that number is expected to have risen significantly in recent years.

Mr Kawczynski said: "Many, many people have tried to dissuade me from pursuing this project, saying it was unrealistic and too costly for the council.

"We have proved all of the naysayers wrong. The sheer persistence over the last seven to eight years, getting things over the finish line, just shows if you persevere, no matter what brickbats are thrown at you, you can achieve things.

"I am obviously delighted and thrilled at this approval."

The MP said he would be meeting with the Environment Agency in the coming days – with the discussions set to include the relief road, as well as other major projects.

One of the caveats of the planning permission granted by the council is that conditions must be agreed with the Environment Agency to satisfy its concerns over potential risks to the supply of Shrewsbury's water.

Mr Kawczynski said: "I have got the chief executive of the Environment Agency visiting Shrewsbury next week to talk about not only the North West Relief Road but also the Riverside development and the River Severn Partnership.

"These three things are intertwined and will all have a transformative effect on Shrewsbury.

"We do not yet know how much it will cost but I expect it will be over £150m of government investment in Shrewsbury, an unprecedented vote of confidence in our town that will create huge employment and will allow the north west quadrant of Shrewsbury to be developed, having a massive positive impact. So I am very grateful to the council for passing this so we can continue to work until it is completed."

He added: "This town – its throughways were designed 300 years ago – will grind to a halt, that is why we need to complete the ring road.

"We have to start to think like Victorians, we have to get the town ready for the people who follow us."