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New exit for Shrewsbury's Meole Brace retail park gets go-ahead

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A new exit lane from Meole Brace retail park will go ahead after planning permission was granted.

The owners of Meole Brace retail park in Shrewsbury had applied for permission at the beginning of the year to add the left turn only lane onto Hereford Road from the exit roundabout in a bid to ease congestion on the site.

Today, planning officers at Shropshire Council granted full planning permission for the extra lane to be built and a new footpath to be developed as part of the scheme.

The decision comes just days after the council's own highways team said the extra lane would not ease congestion for motorists trying to access the busy retail park.

They said the plan was only designed to benefit customers leaving the site, and would do nothing to address the problems of accessing the retail park.

However, they said there were no highways reasons to object to the proposals.

As part of the agreement, the applicants will also have to ensure that within six months of the work being done, the grass bank next to the pavement will be restored to protect the visual character of the area.

Mark Wootton, area manager for the developing highways team, said: "It is not considered that this improvement offers any material benefit to traffic entering into the retail park off Hereford Road, which is a long-standing concern of the highway authority.

"The highway authority would contend therefore that the improvements/alterations will not, in themselves, provide any positive effect or improvement on the existing queuing traffic on Hereford Road accessing the retail park.

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"The highway authority acknowledge that this proposal has been submitted as a stand-alone planning application. The highway authority will therefore be providing further comments in respect of the current application submitted on the retail park for the new unit.

"The highway authority raise no objection to the granting of planning consent subject to conditions."

The issue of access to the retail park has also played a key role in plans to expand the site. An application has been lodged with the local authority which could see a new unit built on vacant land next to TK Maxx. Sports Direct would move into the new shop, with clothes retailer Outfit taking on its present site. The plans could create more than 100 jobs.

Previously, outgoing councillor Jon Tandy said the proposals should be thrown out, saying if the new unit was built, it would block any future second access road to the retail park.

Councillor Tandy said: "The proposed extension will worsen current access difficulties at Meole Brace retail park and rule out the one effective solution.

"Everyone who uses the park says another access is needed."

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