26/04/2011 - Permalink

Assurances given on Oswestry shuttle bus

Related topics: Community

A proposed shuttle bus service between a new supermarket in Oswestry and the town centre would be carefully monitored to ensure it was up to the required standard, Shropshire Council’s leader has said.

The details of an agreement between developers, landowners and the council in relation to the Smithfield redevelopment proposal in Oswestry will be confirmed by the strategic planning committee on Thursday (28 April 2011).  These agreements, known as a Section 106 Agreement, set out a number of conditions that the developers will meet, such as providing funds for local community schemes, or in this case providing a shuttle bus service.

It is this agreement that is being discussed at the meeting, and there will be no fresh debate on the application itself, which has already been approved.  The meeting will take place at 2pm in the council chamber, Castle View, Oswestry.

The main requirement of the Section 106 Agreement which has provoked interest from local residents and businesses is the provision of a shuttle bus between the Smithfield site and Oswestry town centre.

The developers are proposing that this will be provided for 20 years, with a strict annual review which would allow the service to be terminated by either the developer or council, if both parties agreed, if the level of use was not high enough.  If it was decided to terminate the service, then a sum of money would be payable to the council for it to provide other sustainable links between the site and town centre.  The amount paid would depend on how many of the 20 years had elapsed.

Other potential community benefits included in the Section 106 Agreement are road improvements at the junction of Victoria Road and Salop Road, and providing a link from the site to the existing cycle way network.

Councillor Keith Barrow, leader of Shropshire Council said:

“I want to make it clear that the council has been the independent planning authority throughout this process.  However, if this agreement is confirmed we will do everything we can to make sure the shuttle bus is a success.  I will not stand by and watch if the service is delivered poorly – we will make sure it is run properly, or we will make sure an alternative is provided instead.”

Under planning law, the details of a Section 106 Agreement need to be agreed by all parties involved – it is not simply a matter of the planning committee making a decision.  Therefore, the committee can either agree the terms as set out at Thursday’s meeting or disagree with them, in which case they will need to be renegotiated.

The committee agenda and reports can be viewed by clicking this link.