Public meeting to be held in Oakengates after demolition plans met with 'vast' opposition
A public meeting will be held in an historic Shropshire town centre on Friday over plans to demolish shops there.
Telford & Wrekin Council has launched a plan it says will make Oakengates more attractive and bring more people to the town centre.
But businesses and residents in the town vehemently disagree, objecting to the proposals.
A petition against the plans is available to sign in shops around Oakengates.
Florist Christine Orford, who runs Christine's Flowers, has organised a public meeting to make residents' voices heard. The meeting will be held at the Telford Academy Of Performing Arts in Oxford Street at 6pm on Friday.
Councillor Stuart Parr for Hadley and Leegomery said: "Telford & Wrekin Council want to demolish shops in Oakengates to create more space outside the theatre and take away the first floor storage areas from the shops that remain to turn into flats.
"There is a vast amount of opposition to the plans from local businesses and residents. A recent announcement by the council has received almost unanimous negative responses."
Under the planning application, some physical obstacles between Telford Theatre, Limes Walk – and the main car park – and Market Street, will be removed.
Planners say it is hoped this will open up the area to create a welcoming space for residents and for visitors.
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood services, regeneration and the high street, said: “We will continue to work with and support all businesses impacted by the proposals so they can remain within Oakengates, working with every business on a case-by-case basis to meet their needs.
"We will also continue to offer additional investment into a range of existing vacant shops in the town through our Pride in Our High Street initiative."