New jobs and housing could soon be on the way in Oswestry thanks to the efforts of a number of local, regional and national organisations, who are working together to deliver potential housing and employment land developments in Shropshire’s second largest market town.
Led by Shropshire Council, the work involves Homes England, Highways England, The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Oswestry Town Council, the Environment Agency, Severn Trent, and Oswestry BID.
This week the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced the award of £9.3m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to improve the capacity of the road network on the A5 at Mile End and improve the viability of planned housing developments. This follows a funding bid by Shropshire Council in 2018.
The proposed improvements at Mile End could also lead to additional employment land being identified.
Shropshire Council has been working with Homes England and Highways England to agree the proposed design of the Mile End improvements, and local stakeholder engagement is set to take place later this year before the preparation of a planning application.
Steve Charmley, deputy leader of Shropshire Council and Cabinet member for economic growth, said:
“A huge amount of work is taking place to develop housing and employment land in Oswestry and this involves a high number of key local, regional and national bodies, and the hard work of a large number of people. We’re delighted to have received confirmation from the MHCLG of the award of £9.3m to improve Mile End roundabout, as this will be key to developing the land around the island, which would see housing developed and jobs created.”
Graham Wynn, chairman of the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“We are committed to ensuring that Oswestry has the housing and employment land necessary to ensure its economy continues to grow. To do that we require excellent infrastructure which supports and promotes growth. That is why this award is so welcome.”
Adele Nightingale, manager of Oswestry BID, said:
“This is great news for an upgrade to an important gateway into Oswestry! We look forward to working with council to ensure that the project is delivered with minimal disruption to local business.”
Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said:
“We are committed to working together with ambitious councils and helping them deliver the homes this country so desperately needs. We are delighted to be supporting 94 infrastructure projects across the land which will kick-start property development. This is all part of our drive to build 300,000 homes each year, and ensure we have enough housing in areas where it is most needed.”
Meanwhile, a recent award of £165,000 from the One Public Estate programme will enable Shropshire Council to review and identify key sites that could support the development of planned housing and employment land, and will enable the Environment Agency and Severn Trent Water to work on a drainage strategy to identify work that may need to be carried out before development takes place.
Shropshire Council is also working closely with the Marches LEP to support the development of planned housing and employment land that will support the growth of Oswestry. The Marches LEP recognises Oswestry as an ‘opportunity town’, and has supported a number of feasibility studies to support proposed development within Oswestry.
And Oswestry Town Council, the Oswestry Business Improvement District (BID) and Shropshire Council have been working together to prepare a funding bid for the government’s Future High Street Fund. A number of local organisations contributed to this work including the Oswestry Townscape and Transport Group who had led on the development of the Public Realm Strategy that emerged from the Oswestry 2020 Town Plan.
This collaborative work also supports the key priorities identified within the Shropshire Council’s Economic Growth Strategy, and will help to support growth in Shropshire’s second largest market town.