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Link road will threaten holiday park

Plans for a new link road in Shrewsbury will endanger lives and threaten the future viability of a popular five star caravan holiday home and touring park which contributes around £2 million a year to the local economy, Shropshire Council has been warned.

Edward Goddard, managing director of Shrewsbury-based Morris Leisure, is “horrified” by the council’s planning application, lodged recently, for the proposed Oxon Link Road. He says the plans ignore the needs of Oxon Touring and Holiday Home Park, which his company owns.

The park, which has 165 pitches, currently enjoys a picturesque and tranquil parkland setting away from the main roads on the edge of the town.

The proposed £12 million Oxon Link Road will run from Churncote roundabout on the A5 to Holyhead Road, near Shelton Water Tower, passing within a matter of feet of the entrance to the park and bisects the access road from Welshpool Road which also serves a shopping centre and Oxon Park and Ride car park. The link road is the first part of the proposed Shrewsbury North West Relief Road.

Mr Goddard says his company has impressed on the council the need for a footbridge or traffic control to ensure the safety of pedestrians walking from the park across the proposed new road to the local shopping centre and other facilities. Instead pedestrians, including children, will now be forced to risk their lives when crossing the potentially busy road.

Structural works to reduce the road noise impact on the park are also missing from the plans and the company is seeking assurances about safe, unhindered access to the park while the new road is being built.

The public has until August 22 to comment on the planning application. Mr Goddard has urged local residents, particularly of Gains Park, Bicton and Montford Bridge, and businesses to examine in detail the plans which, he says, will change the route they drive onto the A5 because there will be no access from Welshpool Road to Churncote roundabout.

He has urged them to lodge their concerns with the council at  https://pa.shropshire.gov.uk/online-applications/ . The planning application reference is: Ref. No: 18/03166/EIA.

“I am horrified that the needs of our park have not been taken into account despite more than 10 years of discussions with council officials,” said Mr Goddard. “We said from the beginning that we wanted to work with the council and they led us to believe that they would co-operate.

“We made three very reasonable requests to the council, relating to safety, noise and unhindered access, which are the minimum requirements for the caravan park to continue to function. By refusing to provide a footbridge or another controlled way of safely crossing the road, it means that families and children staying on the park are going to have to take their lives in their hands when crossing a busy road. Other parties, including the ramblers, have also expressed their concern.

“The council is also refusing to carry out works to mitigate the noise from traffic. They are proposing noise protection for houses situated farther from the road, yet caravans, which are more susceptible to noise, will get nothing. In fact, the barriers that are proposed could create more noise on the park.

“We also sought assurances about safe, unhindered access to the park whilst the new road is being built and consideration of a compensation claim for potential loss of business, but our requests were declined. The plans threaten the future viability of the park, which contributes around £2 million to the local economy. What will other local businesses think about that prospect?

“The caravan park seems not to exist because it has been ignored in the planning application and the technical information provided.”

Morris Leisure has recruited a team of experienced consultants to work on a response to the plans.

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