Shrewsbury Lib Dem councillors ‘cautiously optimistic’ over Smithfield Riverside redevelopment plans

30 Nov 2023
Alex on Roushill

Liberal Democrats councillors have signalled their support for the Smithfield Riverside redevelopment scheme after the first phase of consultation closed earlier this month.

The latest iteration of the scheme makes reference to a bus station, introduces a new ‘Roushill Park’ from the Riverside to Pride Hill, keeps Smithfield Road open to traffic with a reduced two lanes, and removes one of the planned hotels.

Shrewsbury’s Lib Dem councillors had previously raised issues with the scheme over the costs of a new council HQ, future of the bus station, and architectural merit. 

The group are still raising these concerns, but now say they are ‘cautiously optimistic’ about the way plans are proceeding overall. 

Ahead of the next stage of consultation in January 2024, one Shrewsbury councillor has asked for residents to contact him and share their views.

Councillor Alex Wagner said:

“Having closely scrutinised the latest set of proposals, I am happy to say that we feel cautiously optimistic about the way plans are proceeding.

The Smithfield Riverside area is currently the weak link in the Town Centre. Regenerating it is important, and as long as questions over issues like the bus station and architecture are answered, this could be a very positive and historic improvement for Shrewsbury.

I am particularly encouraged by the fact that proposals for new flats are in the scheme. 

The place where there is a real housing shortage in Shrewsbury is of one and two-bed residential accommodation in and around the centre of town, aimed at people of working age. We have an ageing population and need this sort of development to keep our town thriving for years to come".

Alex added, “please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any views you would like to share or have raised at Shrewsbury Town or Shropshire Council.”

The second stage of plans will be published for consultation in January 2024.

The phase one consultation boards can be read here.