Plans for partial demolition of Riverside shopping centre in Raven Meadows, Shrewsbury, have been submitted by Shropshire Council.
The planning application subject to approval, will allow essential ground investigation works to be carried out, to inform and shape future stages of development.
The plans form part of a wider, transformational programme to redevelop the Smithfield Riverside area of the town centre, and follow the Government’s decision to award Shropshire Council £18.7m of Levelling Up Fund money, announced earlier this year.
In November 2022, regeneration specialists, RivingtonHark, were appointed by Shropshire Council to lead on the regeneration of Riverside and Smithfield areas, which include the Riverside and Pride Hill shopping centres.
The ambitious scheme will increase the appeal of Shrewsbury as a location for business, tourism, and investment.
The scheme plans to create a mixed-use, low carbon waterside development, significantly improving Shrewsbury’s employment and productivity, and will bring further private sector investment into the town.
The planning application intends to demolish the exterior canopy of Riverside shopping centre, part of its adjacent unit, and the former police station.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for growth, regeneration, and housing, said:
“Local people will know and understand this scheme has been in the pipeline for many years; and now, following backing from the Government, we can majorly accelerate the redevelopment of Smithfield Riverside, to bring forward a future Shrewsbury by 2025.
“Ultimately this application, if approved, will enable us to undertake further investigations of the site, and the council has been working closely with current tenants of the shopping centre and stakeholders within the community to ensure the programme progresses at the speed it needs to, whilst being mindful that the town centre still needs to function throughout the process.
“Smithfield Riverside is an agreed priority of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan partnership, and our ambitions to create a development for local people and visitors to enjoy.
“These are exciting times for Shrewsbury, and Shropshire as a county.”
Lezley Picton, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:
“The successful Levelling Up Fund bid has been a game-changer for this scheme, and it will really kickstart the programme to make Shrewsbury an even greater county town.
“One of our priorities as the local council is to create a healthy economy for Shropshire, and this scheme will bring benefits that don’t just help Shrewsbury town centre and its surrounding neighbourhoods, but will also have positive ripple effects for the entire county and for those wanting to visit us in Shropshire.
“This application is one of the initial stages of the scheme, and we know that the local community will rightfully want to know what implications the planning application will have upon their day-to-day lives.
“We want them to feel assured we will work with them accordingly as the scheme progresses.”
The application is currently under consideration by planning officers.