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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Outline planning consent granted for Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings brownfield land development

An outline planning consent application relating to brownfield land surrounding Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, and the historic Apprentice House building has been granted this week.

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. Photo: Historic England
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. Photo: Historic England

Shropshire Council has approved Historic England’s application, which is a renewal of an existing consent relating to the same area of land. It was first granted in 2011 but expired this year.

Historic England owns the brownfield land and the buildings that comprise this historic site, which is currently the focus of a major regeneration project.  The outline planning consent allows for this land and the nineteenth century Apprentice House to be redeveloped for housing while preserving and celebrating the line of the former Shrewsbury Canal and towpath, allowing for its potential future restoration.

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The new housing is an intrinsic part of regenerating the whole 2.7 hectare site.  Any profits from the sale of the land to a developer will be re-invested by Historic England into the repair and rescue of the remaining historic buildings at risk at the Flaxmill Maltings.

Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project Lead for Historic England, said:  

“We are delighted that the outline planning consent application has been granted by Shropshire Council. This decision brings us another step closer to realising our vision for the Flaxmill Maltings to be a thriving hub where communities can come together to work, visit, learn and live. 

“We look forward to seeking a developer next year, who will work with us to achieve this vision and produce a design scheme which will complement the historic surroundings, while demonstrating the same innovation and forward-thinking which brought about the internationally-significant Main Mill.”

The renewal application included indicative designs for how a future housing development within the Flaxmill Maltings site could or might look, but detailed designs and a full planning application will be made following the appointment of a development partner in 2022. 

An indicative drawing of what future housing might look like at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, similar to the drawing used in the December 2020 outline planning consent application. Photo: © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
An indicative drawing of what future housing might look like at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, similar to the drawing used in the December 2020 outline planning consent application. Photo: © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The outline planning consent proposed that housing is built in alignment to the former canal’s tow path, to reinstate housing where it always was historically and reinforce the canal line as the site’s principal landscape space. The renewed plan sets houses back from the main road whilst keeping the visibility of the Flaxmill Maltings’ skyline and the upper floors of the Main Mill from Spring Gardens.  The magnificent views of the historic buildings from Marshalls Court and St Michaels Street junction and along Spring Gardens will remain.

Marianne Blaauboer, Manager of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings said:

“We fully supported Historic England’s application to renew the planning consent for housing on the land surrounding Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. Housing was very much part of the historic landscape around the Flaxmill Maltings and we are sure that Historic England will appoint a developer who will build quality homes, to high environmental standards, which support the vision for the site.” 

The restoration of the Grade I listed Main Mill and the Grade II Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is currently taking place thanks to a £20.7m grant from National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, combined with additional funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government, and from project partners Historic England, Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings.

The revitalised site will become a new learning and enterprise quarter for Shrewsbury, with high quality offices for the region’s growing creative industries that will help drive the town’s renaissance as a regional economic hub, as it was when Shropshire led the way in the Industrial Revolution. There will also be a new visitor experience managed by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings and a café open to the public. 

The Main Mill and Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings will open in spring 2022, with the new visitor experience and café opening on the ground floor and the top four floors available for commercial tenants.

For more information about the restoration visit HistoricEngland.org.uk/SFM

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