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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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Plans submitted for new driving test centre in Whitchurch

A planning application for a new driving test centre at Whitchurch Civic Centre has been welcomed by Shropshire Council and MP Helen Morgan.

Whitchurch Civic Centre. Photo: Shropshire Council
Whitchurch Civic Centre. Photo: Shropshire Council

It follows the closure of the former centre last April, and a campaign to retain a driving test centre in Whitchurch.

The planning application can be seen on Shropshire Council’s online planning register and the council is encouraging people to submit comments as part of the planning consultation.

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Ian Nellins, deputy Leader of Shropshire Council, said:

“We welcome this development, as we have been lobbying the DVSA and the Department for Transport to keep a driving test centre in Whitchurch since plans were announced to close the former centre.

“Retaining a test centre in the town will prevent residents of the central and north east areas of north Shropshire having to take driving tests in other towns, some potentially in other county areas, which isn’t in the best interest of local learner drivers or the driving instructors who serve the local area.

“It will benefit our residents and our businesses, especially our base of well-regarded driving instructors, and will help to retain our base of talented young people in Whitchurch and the surrounding area,  helping them into local employment and setting them up for success in life.

“While we welcome this proposal, it’s important to note that these plans still have to go through the formal planning process before a decision is made, and we encourage people to submit their comments as part of the planning consultation.”

North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has also welcomed the news that a planning application has been submitted which would clear the way for driving tests to return to Whitchurch.

Responding to the update, Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, said:

“It is very welcome news that this application has been submitted at last. It may be a small step but it is a significant one given how long we’ve been waiting for the DVSA to move forward.

“Learner drivers across North Shropshire are having to wait months for a test and travel long distances when they do manage to get one, so the sooner we can get a test centre back running in Whitchurch the better.

“I’ve been working closely with the town council and the many families and instructors affected by last year’s closure and they will all be relieved to hear the DVSA is making progress at last.”

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