Campaigners claim Shrewsbury North West Relief Road could have 'record-breaking' negative response
An artist’s impression of the North West Relief Road
A consultation on the proposed four-mile road, which would stretch from Churncote Roundabout to Battlefield, ends today, and more than 1,700 responses had been uploaded to the planning portal at last count, most of them opposed to the plans.
But Better Transport Shrewsbury and Road to Ruin Shropshire, two groups which were set up to campaign against the road, believe there are in fact around 3,000 objections, and that Shropshire Council has been slow to upload them for the public to view.
Dave Green, a spokesperson for Better Transport Shrewsbury, said: “We have been stunned by the number of objections to the North West Road. These have come from across the whole of Shrewsbury and Shropshire which shows that this highly controversial road is not just a local issue but is a big concern throughout the county. Only around two per cent are in favour of the project.
Road To Ruin Shropshire says it has forwarded over 2,300 objections to the road that it has received via its website.
Around 700 more objections were uploaded directly to the planning portal.
Mr Green: “We appreciate all the hard work the planning team have been doing processing the objections over the last few weeks. It’s clear, though, that the volume of objections is much higher than anyone expected. We are still waiting to see several hundred objections show up on the planning portal due to a huge backlog.”
The majority of the objections focus on the environmental impact of building the road, with most respondents saying it is incompatible with the climate emergency that Shropshire Council declared in May 2019.
Objectors also highlight the devastation that the road will cause to Shrewsbury’s Green Wedge and natural habitats such as the ancient oak trees.
Others raise questions over the validity of the business case – which was written before the pandemic, discrepancies in the traffic models used and the lack of consideration of alternative methods for solving Shrewsbury’s transport issues.
Civic leaders and business groups have come forward to support the building of the road, insisting it will take traffic out of the town and benefit not only Shrewsbury, but surrounding towns and villages.
A Shropshire Council spokesman said: “A large number of comments have been received and these are in the process of being checked and uploaded to the public planning register.
All will be taken into account prior to determination of the planning application.”
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