'Bold' Oswestry town centre masterplan could see rail station and former Morrisons transformed

"Bold" plans which could re-shape one of the county's biggest town centres have been revealed.

An image of how Bailey Head could look
An image of how Bailey Head could look

Shropshire Council has lifted the lid on some of its ideas for a major re-development of Oswestry, taking in some of the town's most prominent and popular features.

The authority will be asking people who live in Oswestry for their opinions on the plans, which include ambitions for the former Morrisons store, the indoor market, the town's railway station building, and a possible expansion of Festival Square.

The 'Future Oswestry Plan' will go to Shropshire Council's cabinet on Wednesday next week – if backed a consultation will then take place.

Councillor Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Deputy Leader, and Cabinet member for economic growth, regeneration and planning, said the proposals include "bold ambitions" for the future of the town.

He said: "This is a truly fantastic opportunity to shape the future of Oswestry and create an ambitions vision for the future of the town.

"The masterplan is full of ideas on how Oswestry can change and improve in the future, and I hope everybody who lives in, works in or visits Oswestry will have their say during the public consultation.

"We have some bold ambitions and I am looking forward to seeing what everybody thinks."

The report breaks down four areas seen as a focus for development – the Cambrian Gateway, the Castle Quarter, the Church Street Quarter and the approach into town from Mile End.

Proposals for the Festival Square could see the car park resurfaced to expand the area, while plans for the former Morrisons between Oswald Road and Beatrice Street focus on a 'mixed use' development, taking in 'housing, leisure/culture, community and commercial uses'.

The report describes the Morrisons site as "perhaps the town's most significant opportunity for growth and to improve the arrival experience into town".

Proposals around the Bailey Head and Indoor Market Hall could result in the indoor market being relocated and the building redeveloped.

The report says: "The current market hall building dates from 1963 and is only used three days a week. Given its prominent location, there is an opportunity for the site to make a more significant contribution to the vitality of the town."

It adds: "A longer term option could be to promote this prominent site for redevelopment. This more ambitious approach would present scope for the relocation or reprovision of the indoor market."

The report also says that Oswestry's station should be safeguarded to allow for rail services to successfully be reconnected from the town to Gobowen.

It states that there is an "opportunity to renovate the Grade II listed building as flexible workspace/small business space in the short term and to support a public transport hub at ground floor (toilets, café, et cetera.), while safeguarding use as an operational station in the long term."

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