Shropshire Council

Ellesmere and surrounding area

Place plans were developed to include a main centre (often a market town) and its surrounding smaller towns, villages and rural hinterlandThese areas are recognised in the Local Plan as functioning geographical areas, with strong linkages to and from the main town and the wider area. 

The Ellesmere and Surrounding Area Place Plan covers the area identified within the red outline on the map image on this page. It summarises and prioritises the local infrastructure needs which are required to support the sustainable development of the area, and identifies the wider investment needs to assist delivery of the community’s vision and aspirations. 

Data and information review

The infrastructure project list is based on information submitted to us by town and parish councils in each place plan area. This information is then tested against data held by us, and further informed by consultation with a range of infrastructure providers. 

By gathering this information, we've been able to understand more clearly the needs of each place plan area and use this information to make some difficult decisions about prioritisation of projects. 

Key infrastructure issues

A review of information for this area has shown that key infrastructure issues are: 

  • Concerns around the capacity of the sewerage network capacity, which will require hydraulic modelling to assess requirements
  • Concerns around management of local flood risk in communities across the area


Several projects have been identified and prioritised for the area. You can find the details for each project in the Ellesmere Place Plan which is attached to this page to view or download.

This area in the countywide plan

Core Strategy

The Core Strategy recognises the role of Shropshire’s market towns and key centres through a specific policy - Policy CS3. This policy outlines how all our towns have distinctive identities, which new development is expected to reinforce, by respecting each town’s distinctive character, and by being sensitive to its landscape setting, historic features, and the towns’ functions.

You can view the full strategy on our planning policy web pages.

For Ellesmere, Policy CS3 recognises: 

  • Balanced housing and employment development, of an appropriate scale and design that respects the town’s distinctive character  
  • and is supported by improvements in infrastructure.  
  • Development to support local businesses, recognising the area’s high-quality landscape, particularly the environmental and historic assets of the meres and the canal.   
  • A major mixed-use redevelopment on the site of the canal-side wharf is underway and offers prospects for continued regeneration. 
  • There are fewer jobs in the town than there are resident workers and most workplaces in Ellesmere are small. 

SAMDev policies

The SAMDev Plan also provides brief settlement policies for each place plan area. You can read more from the SAMDev Plan on our planning policy web pages.

The policies for Ellesmere, and then for the wider area, are as follows: 

  • Ellesmere will accommodate additional development of around 800 homes during the period to 2026. 
  • New housing development will be delivered through the allocation of a single greenfield site, subject to the implementation of satisfactory drainage and flood risk measures. 
  • Developments that contribute to the area’s economy are encouraged, and proposals for small scale office, workshop and light industrial uses and expansion of existing businesses will be supported where they are well located and well suited to employment use.   
  • Approximately 4 hectares of employment development is expected to take place on small-scale windfall sites across the Ellesmere area over the Plan period to 2026 
  • The allocation of 18 hectares of land for leisure and tourism uses is located adjacent to the allocated housing site to the south of the town. The scheme represents an exciting opportunity for Ellesmere to further develop its leisure and tourism facilities. 
  • Mitigation measures will be required to remove the adverse effects of development in the Ellesmere area on the integrity of the Cole Mere. 

Local Plan Review

We started reviewing our Local Plan in 2017 and recently consulted on the preferred sites which are needed to meet the county’s development needs during the period to 2036. The new plan is unlikely to be adopted before 2021. The review will ensure that the Local Plan continues to be the primary consideration for decisions about development in Shropshire by maintaining robust and defensible policies that conform with national policy and address the changing circumstances within the county and beyond. 

Key points from the Local Plan review include: 

  • Ellesmere will act as a key centre and contribute towards the strategic growth objectives in the north-west of the county.   
  • The Local Plan Review will seek to achieve balanced housing and employment growth. 
  • Between 2006/07 and 2016/17 the average housing delivery rate in Ellesmere was some 29 dwellings per year. 
  • Around 9 hectares of employment land is already committed in Ellesmere, through planning permission, prior approval, or site allocation. No further employment land therefore needs to be identified. 
  • Additional opportunities will need to recognise the presence of numerous heritage and natural environment assets in and around the town. 
  • Additional opportunities will need to recognise flood risk in the area. 
  • One community hub has been identified at Dudleston Heath following request from Ellesmere Rural Parish Council. 

More about Ellesmere

Ellesmere is located in the north of the county of Shropshire. The area contains a mixture of housing in terms of age and type and the town of Ellesmere itself is fairly densely populated, and provides a range of shops and other amenities. 

Ellesmere was first settled by ancient Britons. The area has nine Meres (glacial lakes) with the town being situated next to one of the largest meres in England, outside of the Lake District.  A castle was built in the 11th Century, of which only earthworks now remain. The mere itself contains an artificial island, constructed in 1812 from the soil dug out to make the gardens at Ellesmere House. It was later named Moscow Island, as Napoleon's defeat in Russia also took place in that year. The mere has a visitors' centre and is popular with birdwatchers.  

Approximately 200 people are employed in the tourism sector in Ellesmere, of which the majority are employed in accommodation and food services, with a small number in arts, entertainment, recreation and other services. Ellesmere is a popular destination with visitors, who are attracted to its natural lakes, wildlifetranquil walks, and the nearby canal network. The visitor centre attracts around 250,000 visitors a year. 

List of parishes and local elected members

This place plan covers the following town and parish councils: 

The following Shropshire Council elected members represent constituencies within this place plan area: 

Other local plans

When developing the Place Plans for an area, Shropshire Council also looks at any other local plans and strategies that focus on infrastructure needs within this particular area. 

For Ellesmere and the surrounding area, the relevant plans include: 

Community led or parish plans: