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Friday, February 23, 2024
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Next phase of consultation launched on Shrewsbury’s Smithfield Riverside

The next stage of public consultation on Shrewsbury’s Smithfield Riverside regeneration project gets underway today, ahead of two impending planning applications.

Artist’s impression of the Pride Hill development, including a cinema, viewed from the new Raven Meadows Footbridge.
Artist’s impression of the Pride Hill development, including a cinema, viewed from the new Raven Meadows Footbridge.

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, Darwin 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.

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Backed by almost £19 million of Levelling Up money from UK 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 the 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.

Next round of public consultation

This next round of public consultation, which runs until 5 March, will focus on proposals that are being submitted this Spring, as planning applications two and three.

The second 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 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 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 high street.

Artist’s impression of the Pride Hill development, viewed from the lower courtyard.
Artist’s impression of the Pride Hill development, viewed from the lower courtyard.

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:

“The 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.”

Second phase of public consultation

The second phase of public consultation on Smithfield Riverside will run until 5 March, 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 Centre on 15, 17 and 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 15 February and 5 March. You can also access them at the following Shropshire Council libraries: Bayston Hill, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Gobowen, Library at the Lantern, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Oswestry, Pontesbury, Shrewsbury and Wem.

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