Next phase of consultation launched on Smithfield Riverside in Shrewsbury
The next stage of public consultation on the Smithfield Riverside regeneration project in Shrewsbury gets underway today (Friday 9 February 2024), ahead of two impending planning applications.
Led by Shropshire Council and its development manager, RivingtonHark, Smithfield Riverside is the ambitious regeneration project set to transform the area between the River Severn, The Darwin shopping centre, Roushill and Raven Meadows in Shrewsbury town centre.
The first of four planning applications was submitted in December 2023. With a planning decision expected this spring, the application focussed on the demolition of the Riverside shopping centre and former Riverside medical practice, and the creation of a landmark new public park adjacent to Roushill. Backed by almost £19 million of Levelling Up Fund money from the Government, this work would pave the way for key enabling works and, through the introduction of the park, help breathe new life and vibrancy into the area.
The feedback from the council’s first round of consultation helped fine tune the proposals for Roushill Park, including making the family play sculptures more robust and natural in appearance, so they can withstand the area’s regular flooding while still looking attractive. Feedback also influenced an increase in rain gardens, to ensure that the park can play a meaningful role in sustainable drainage and flood management.
This next round of public consultation, which runs until Tuesday 5 March 2024, will focus on proposals that are being submitted this spring as planning applications two and three.
The second planning application introduces ‘outline’ scale and massing plans for three building plots located between Smithfield Road, Raven Meadows and the proposed Roushill Park. Although plans are still at an early stage, these flexible plots are likely to feature a mix of residential, office and hotel uses.
The third planning application proposes a new social destination located between Pride Hill and Raven Meadows, forming a welcoming and inclusive new space to eat, meet and socialise. The existing, closed Pride Hill shopping centre would be partly demolished – with the retention of the existing service yard platform and a smaller covered retail arcade that connects to Pride Hill and High Street beyond.
Adjoining new buildings and a raised podium would be constructed to accommodate a boutique cinema, retail pavilion, bars and restaurants, and an outdoor event space for local makers and small businesses. As a nod to the town’s ever-evolving industrial heritage and typical housing stock, new buildings would combine a multitude of pitched roofs and utilise raw and earthy colours.
Ian Nellins, Deputy Leader of Shropshire Council, said:-
“Shropshire Council and our project team are pleased to be starting the next phase of public consultation on Smithfield Riverside, and showcasing our exceptional vision to transform this area of the town centre.
“Building on the exciting planning application for Roushill Park, these subsequent proposals provide us with a strong blueprint to deliver a dynamic mix of food and drink venues, a new cinema, hotel, shops, homes and workspaces over the coming years – helping us draw more visitors, residents, businesses and jobs into Shrewsbury.
“The design of the scheme looks really special, with the architecture respecting our unique heritage and identity, while also delivering a modern and dynamic offering for the communities of Shropshire.”
The second phase of public consultation on Smithfield Riverside will run until Tuesday 5 March 2024, with local businesses and communities invited to view and comment on the plans here: http://smithfieldriverside.com
Public events are also planned at Shropshire Local in The Darwin shopping centre on Thursday 15 February, Saturday 17 February and Wednesday 21 February, giving people the opportunity to learn more, meet the team and view a 3D model of the plans.
If you are unable to attend the events, the consultation materials will be on public display at Shropshire Local between Thursday 15 February and Tuesday 5 March 2024. You can also access them at the following Shropshire Council libraries: Bayston Hill, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Gobowen, Library at The Lantern (north Shrewsbury), Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Oswestry, Pontesbury, Shrewsbury and Wem.
Fronted by Shropshire Council, Smithfield Riverside is being supported by an expert team of property and regeneration specialists, including RivingtonHark, FaulknerBrowns Architects, Spacehub Landscape Architects, Arup and Counter Context.
Scripted by Counter Context on behalf of Shropshire Council: edited by Shropshire Council.