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Copthorne Barracks: Signatures to save Shrewsbury site more than double - with video

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A petition to save Copthorne Barracks has doubled its number of signatures in two weeks.

The online petition was first publicised in the Shropshire Star on December 27 when a little over 300 people had added their name to it. Today, more than 650 signatures have been collected.

Members of the Light Infantry Association want to preserve the site and use it as a base for homeless ex-servicemen and women who need help when leaving the forces.

Speaking at a gathering of veterans at the barracks, Norman Mcguigan, 55, who served in the First Battallion of the Light Infantry from 1979 onwards, said the fight to save the barracks was ongoing.

He said: "It is going well, we have got some great support.

"Since the input of the Shropshire Star, the people of Shrewsbury are certainly more interested.

"People in Shrewsbury want to see the history and heritage retained as part of the town's history. This is the home of the Light Infantry so we would like to see museums from Shrewsbury and Durham here too, so all the county's regiments can come here to pay their respects.

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"The fight still goes on as far as we are concerned." Mr Mcguigan said homelessness among former soldiers was a growing problem and the barracks would be a perfect place to provide a facility for those affected.

The Ministry of Defence wants to build 228 homes on the site, while campaigners want it to be used as a shelter for homeless ex-servicemen and women.

Previously, transport experts said they were concerned about the access to the site, especially around the Barracks Lane junction and The Mount.

But a highways report in December said following discussions with the developers and improvements made to the design of the junction, there are no longer any objections from a transport perspective.

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The report also states only over-60s, who have retired early due to infirmity or incapacity, widows or widowers or a dependant of a resident falling within these categories, should be allowed to live in the retirement homes as the parking provision does not make enough allowance for general occupation.

A number of conditions have been attached to the report, including no vehicular access to the site until the agreed work to the junction in question being carried out.

The report also says the final application should include no permanent through-route for vehicles between Copthorne Road and The Mount other than for emergency vehicles.

To see the petition, visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/175130

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