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Shropshire Star comment: Time for consensus over Shrewsbury Quarry plans

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

Shrewsbury will not be successful in drawing people into the centre of the town if there is nothing in the centre of the town to draw them in.

The swimming and fitness centre in Shrewsbury's Quarry park

It is a compelling argument in favour of keeping the town's swimming pool at The Quarry rather than moving it to Sundorne.

And now, slowly, as seems to be the way with Shrewsbury planning matters, a consensus solution may be rising to the surface.

It is this. There will be a brand new building in the Quarry which will be both the home for a new swimming pool and a base for Shrewsbury Town Council.

There is no agreement along these lines at the moment, but the idea is the basis for discussions between the town council which owns the Quarry and Shropshire Council which owns the pool.

As a way forward it has things to commend it. One of those is that it would offer continuity, in that the pool would remain at its familiar part of town, where it has been for decades, and the upheaval of a move would be avoided.

It would also dovetail neatly into the town council's own ambitions, and forge an association between the pool and the town council, which already has money set aside for a permanent town council headquarters, with council chamber and community resources.

It would be a case of killing two birds with one stone. The town council would get a proper home in the centre of town, and Shrewsbury would get a new pool.

There are precedents locally. For instance, Wellington Town Council has its home in the same complex as the town's swimming pool.

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After so much debate and controversy in the past, Shrewsbury residents will take a measure of pleasure in the fact that things seem, in early 2018, to be starting to move and that the disagreements which have hampered progress appear to be dissipating somewhat.

This is, though, only the talking stages. We haven't come to the questions of money or design yet.

Of the two the money is the important one, because if there is not the money the issue of the design is irrelevant. Money matters will need to embrace both the build cost and how the facility is run and paid for.

Meanwhile, over at the Riverside shopping centre, Shrewsbury is still looking for a consensus way forward to gel.

But developments at the pool can be given a cautious welcome, because experience has shown that while it may take Shrewsbury a while to agree to dive in, once it does, things can move fast.

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