Tag: Shropshire Council

Queue at Prices

It’s been a tough time for our high streets in Shropshire. They were almost deserted for months. Only in the last few weeks have they begun to spring back into life. Shropshire Council has launched a survey of businesses, councillors, residents and others asking how our town centres and high streets are performing as we emerge from lockdown. The council is asking whether there is more activity in your local town centre than last week. It wants an estimate or rough guess on what proportion of businesses are open. What would encourage more businesses to open? And two crucial questions. How confident do you think the public is in returning to the town centre? And what measures could be taken to increase public confidence? Please take part in the survey.

Calling residents and employees of Burway Lane and Parys Road – you are going to get your roads resurfaced and you might not like it (updated)

Update 22 July: The work on Parys Road and Burway is underway. Many of the major faults have been ground out and patched. Final surfacing is awaited. The date for completion of the works has been extended until the end of July. There has not been much notice of the work on Burway Lane. It could begin as early as Sunday. Resurfacing of Parys Road is scheduled for 19 July to 25 July. The work on both roads will involve laying a bituminous binder. Grit will be rolled into this and further worked in by vehicles in under 20mph restrictions. This was the technique used on Dinham and Linney. No one seems impressed by the quality of work on those roads or the necessity for doing it. And of course, this technique leads to grit being sprayed onto pavements and against vehicles. Cyclists hate it. Parys Road doesn’t need resurfacing along its length. It needs rebuilding from Sheet Road to Tollgate Road. This is the 150-metre stretch where HGVs are pummelling the road to breaking point. The road need grinding down and relaying, not resurfacing over the cracks and bumps.

Shropshire Council plans to pull down Shirehall in favour of a Shrewsbury civic centre – it should devolve more to the market towns

Shropshire Councillors are to discuss demolishing the unloved Shirehall and replacing it with a civic centre in the Shrewsbury Loop. The Shirehall site will be sold, presumably for housing. The potential location of the civic centre has not been revealed (I think Riverside would be a good location). More details may be given at the Shropshire Council meeting on Thursday morning. There is a lot of sense in this proposal. Staff and councillors are now largely working from home. Shirehall is a vast, unwelcoming, energy inefficient, concrete monstrosity. A smaller, more accessible civic centre makes better sense. But it should be called Shropshire Civic Centre to reflect its county wide role, not Shrewsbury Civic Centre which makes it sound like a town facility. Council leaders are asking councils to give permission for a further £1.15 million to look at the case for a civic centre. At this point I get nervous. The council allocated £1.5 million to look at refurbishment of Shirehall. That proved to be a waste of money. We can’t waste any more.

Roof terrace overlooking Church Walk would damage setting of St Lawrence’s Church and the Reader’s House

I have objected to plans to extend a third floor flat above Joules and the hospice shop, 9-10 King Street, with a north facing roof terrace. The balcony, which will be 10.5 metres (34ft) above ground level, would break up the established roofline. Residents or holidaymakers in the flat will overlook the bedroom windows of two of the new almshouses. They will gaze over the roof of the almshouses to St Lawrence’s Church and the 17th Century Reader’s House, both Grade I listed. Looking from Church Walk, the balcony will be in full view. It will also be seen from Tower Street. Legislation and case law make clear considerable importance and weight should be given to preserving the setting of listed buildings when making planning decisions. That is why this application should be rejected.

Shrewsbury shopping centres plummet in value by two thirds – Shropshire Council shrugs off the loss

The devaluation of the Pride Hill, Darwin and now defunct Riverside shopping centres within the Shrewsbury Loop will be a surprise to no one. But the collapse in value from £51m to £17.5m– 66 per cent – over three years is bigger than expected. It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, retail devaluation seen anywhere in England in such a short period. Shropshire Council has shrugged this off as an expected devaluation. Deputy Council leader Steve Charmley said: “We were aware of the possible downturn in the fortunes of the high street – an issue compounded by COVID-19 – but it’s for exactly that reason that the purchase was made – so that we could manage and mitigate any downturn.” The Shrewsbury shopping centres are expected to provide a profit to council tax payers of just £434,000 this financial year. Less than one per cent return on the original investment. The council could have better spent our money on social housing.

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