Shropshire Council

Shrewsbury and surrounding area

Place plans were developed to include a main centre (often a market town) and its surrounding smaller towns, villages, and rural hinterland. These 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 Shrewsbury 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 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

For the Shrewsbury and Surrounding Area Place Plan, a review of information – with a particular focus on the Big Town Plan – has shown that key infrastructure issues within Shrewsbury Town are:

  • The constraints of current physical and digital infrastructure to support movement, flows and access into and around the town centre, resulting in increasing congestion, air pollution, limiting economic growth in the town centre and affecting user experience.
  • The natural environment, particularly the variance in town centre topography and flooding of the River Severn presents a number of development challenges including place shaping opportunities; design quality and opportunities for growth.
  • Successful adaptation of listed and historic buildings for 21st Century uses within the town centre, and the constraints in terms of viability, redevelopment, conversion and integration of digital infrastructure.
  • The imbalance of uses within the Shrewsbury town centre, including the relatively small number of residents living there as a percentage of the overall population of Shrewsbury, the over-supply of retail space and the limited availability of workspace, office, leisure and commercial provision.

Meanwhile, some of the key infrastructure issues within the wider rural area surrounding Shrewsbury Town are:

  • Improvements to local highways network, and development of speed reduction measures for traffic in settlements within the plan
  • Improvements and increase in capacity of community and leisure facilities to cater for the needs of a cross section of the population
  • Provision of affordable housing of different types and tenures to help communities maintain a mixed demography amongst the local population.
  • Improvements to broadband infrastructure across the Place Plan are


Several projects have been identified and prioritised for the area. You can find the details for each project in 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.

The policy for Shrewsbury town recognises:

  • Shrewsbury will provide the primary focus for development in Shropshire in both housing delivery and the allocation of employment land.
  • Shrewsbury will develop its role as Shropshire’s primary retail, office and commercial centre, and the vitality and viability of the town centre will be promoted, protected and enhanced.
  • The Shrewsbury Northern Corridor will be improved with the restoration and redevelopment of the Ditherington Flaxmill site and the enhancement of major existing commercial, employment, and mixed use areas a priority.
  • Shrewsbury’s strategy will recognise the need for the continuing development of high-quality business parks on the edge of the town centre.
  • Shrewsbury will be a major focus within Shropshire for the provision of infrastructure and services to meet the needs of the town and its wider catchment area.

In recognition of the special character of the town and its particular environmental challenges, the development of the town will have regard to:

  • The Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Strategy as advanced through the Shropshire Local Transport Plan, and the proposed Shrewsbury North West Relief Road.
  • Flood risk management, based on the Shropshire Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.
  • The promotion, conservation and enhancement of the town’s natural and historic features, heritage assets, green corridors and spaces, and environmental quality.

SAMDev policies

The policies for Shrewsbury (Policies S16) can be found on our Planning Policy pages.

For the wider Shrewsbury area, SAMDev also lists policies for Community Hubs and Cluster Settlements (Policy S16.2). 

Community Hubs

We've undertaken an assessment of the local services, facilities, employment, and public transport links available within rural settlements in order to identify those which are considered to function as Community Hubs.

In the Shrewsbury Town and Surrounding Areas Place Plan, these Community Hubs are identified as:

  • Baschurch
  • Bayston Hill
  • Bicton
  • Bomere Heath
  • Cross Houses
  • Dorrington
  • Ford
  • Hanwood
  • Longden
  • Nesscliffe

Community Clusters

A number of smaller settlements within the place plan area have also ‘opted in’ as community clusters. These are:

  • Albrighton (Pimhill Parish)
  • Bicton and Four Crosses area
  • Dorrington, Stapleton and Condover; Fitz, Grafton and New Banks
  • Great Ness, Little Ness, Wilcott, Hopton / Valeswood, Kinton, and Felton Butler (Nesses Parish)
  • Hanwood and Hanwood Bank
  • Longden, Hook-a-Gate, Annscroft, Longden Common, and Lower Common / Exfords Green
  • Montford Bridge West
  • Mytton
  • Uffington
  • Walford Heath
  • Weston Lullingfields, Weston Wharf, and Weston Common (Baschurch Parish)

Villages not included in the list of Community Hubs or Community Clusters, will be “countryside” for planning policy purposes, where new development is strictly controlled in accordance with national and local planning policies.

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 for Shrewsbury and surrounding area include:

  • Shrewsbury will continue to act as the county’s strategic centre, and will therefore have a particularly important role in supporting the county’s housing and economic growth aspirations to 2036. It will provide:
    • Housing: 3,645 dwellings (gross guideline including commitments is 8,625 dwellings)
    • Employment: 50 hectares (gross guideline including commitments is 91 hectares)
  • The Local Plan Review will set the scale of growth for the town and identify site allocations to support delivery; along with the final version of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan to support the aspirations of Shrewsbury Town Council, Shrewsbury’s Business Improvement District (BID) and Shropshire Council.
  • At the heart of the Big Town Plan is the aspiration for the town to achieve balanced growth. This means providing greater encouragement to deliver housing and commercial development in and around the town centre to complement the delivery of new development on the edge of the town. This aspiration responds directly to the need to enhance physical connectivity between places and to re-think the role of town centres, particularly in the light of changes to the retail sector.

More about Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury sits in the centre of the place plan area. It is an historic market town, and is also the main county town for Shropshire. The town retains its medieval street pattern and has 660 listed buildings. The River Severn loops around the town, with access to the centre of Shrewsbury from the east, south and west via two historic bridges. 

Positioned strategically on the England / Mid Wales border, the town was first established around the 5th Century, and became an important strategic military site throughout the medieval and civil war period. Later it grew as a market town on the back of the wool industry and its access to the river.

Today the town of Shrewsbury has a population of around 72,000.

Shrewsbury railway station is in the town centre with six routes providing access across Wales, to the north west and the west midlands. The main A49 and A5 roads link the town to the rest of Shropshire. A central bus station provides services across the county and to surrounding towns.

Shrewsbury is the major service provider to Shropshire’s population and beyond. For many, it is their nearest destination town for goods and services (including health provision), is the main location for employment and with its strong heritage and cultural offer, Shrewsbury is also a key visitor destination in its own right.

The town hosts important organisation and administrative buildings serving Shropshire, including our main offices, the Police and Fire and Rescue Services, and also the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital which serves Mid Wales as well as Shropshire. It also has a University and a range of public and private schools located within the town.

There are a number of large villages surrounding Shrewsbury which are settlements in their own right with their own services and facilities, but which have strong links to Shrewsbury. These include Cross Houses (population 730), Condover (650) and Dorrington (610), Bomere Heath (12400, Montford (310) and Bicton (350), Nesscliffe (220), Baschurch (1595), Bayston Hill (4830), Hanwood (610) and Ford (600).

The rural area around Shrewsbury is traditionally based on agricultural industries which remain a source of employment, but employment is also provided in the health care sector, education, public administration, tourism, and retail.

List of parishes and local elected members

This place plan covers the following parish councils:

  • Alberbury with Cardeston
  • Astley
  • Atcham
  • Baschurch
  • Bayston Hill
  • Berrington
  • Bicton
  • Bomere Heath
  • Church Pulverbatch
  • Condover
  • Cound
  • Ford
  • Great Hanwood
  • Great Ness and Little Ness
  • Leighton & Eaton Constantine
  • Longden
  • Montford
  • Uffington
  • Upton Magna
  • Westbury
  • Withington
  • Wroxeter and Uppington

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

Councillors within Shrewsbury Town:

  • Peter Adams (Bowbrook Ward)
  • Dean Carroll (Battlefield Ward)
  • Ted Clarke (Bayston Hill, Column and Sutton Ward)
  • Julian Dean (Porthill Ward)
  • Hannah Fraser (Abbey Ward)
  • Nat Green (Quarry and Coton Hill Ward)
  • Kate Halliday (Belle Vue Ward)
  • Ioan Jones (Harlescott Ward)
  • Gwen Burgess (Meole Ward)
  • Jane Mackenzie (Bayston Hill, Column and Sutton Ward)
  • Pamela Moseley (Monkmoor Ward)
  • Alan Mosley (Castlefields and Ditherington Ward)
  • Peter Nutting (Copthorne Ward)
  • Kevin Pardy (Sundorne Ward)
  • Tony Parsons (Bayston Hill, Column and Sutton Ward)
  • Alexander Phillips (Bagley Ward)
  • Keith Roberts (Radbrook Ward)
  • David Vasmer (Underdale Ward)

You can view each councillor's profile on the 'Your Councillor' section of our Committee Services web pages.

Councillors within the Shrewsbury rural area:

  • Nick Bardsley (Ruyton and Baschurch Ward)
  • Roger Evans (Longden Ward)
  • Nick Hignett (Rea Valley Ward)
  • Dan Morris (Burnell Ward)
  • Lezley Picton (Tern Ward)
  • Edward Potter (Loton Ward)
  • Claire Wild (Severn Valley Ward)

You can view each councillor's profile on the 'Your Councillor' section of our Committee Services web pages.

Other local plans

When developing a Place Plan, we also look at any other local plans and strategies that focus on infrastructure needs within this particular area.

Community led or parish plans

Neighbourhood Plan / Plan 'Light'

Condover Parish are producing a Neighbourhood Plan, due for completion 2019/2020.

Local Economic Growth Strategies

The Shrewsbury Big Town Plan (2018) produced by Shrewsbury Business Improvement District, Shrewsbury Town Council, and Shropshire Council is the Local Economic Growth Strategy for the town. 

The Shrewsbury Big Town Plan (SBTP) is a collective vision and plan for the town that has been co-created by Shrewsbury BID, Shropshire Council, and Shrewsbury Town Council following extensive engagement with the public and stakeholders. The Place Plan’s strategic ambitions and goals for the town specifically are informed by the SBTP, as the visioning work undertaken through the SBTP highlights the need to maintain the vitality of the town centre.

The SBTP is the outcome of a collaborative process that has successfully brought together individuals, organisations, decision-makers, business leaders, councillors, and council officers, educational establishments and local experts to create a collective vision and strategy to help guide Shrewsbury’s future.  It sets the aims, aspirations, and vision for Shrewsbury now and for the future. It also provides a strong statement for residents, employers and visitors to Shrewsbury of how they can expect the town to develop over time, and how that growth and change is being planned, coordinated and communicated.

The SBTP is a new way of working for the town of Shrewsbury, putting the needs of people at the heart of plan-making and place-shaping to create a ‘whole place’ approach. It is intended that both the place plan and the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan can co-exist for the benefit of the delivery of necessary infrastructure in the town to ensure its future vitality.

The SBTP has identified the goals and priorities of the town, ensuring Shrewsbury is creating and making the most of opportunities, and is well positioned to manage current and future challenges. The plan ensures the key themes of movement and transport, creating a place for enterprise, nurturing natural Shrewsbury, and vitality, life and mix run interweave and complement each other. Meanwhile, the place plan provides the framework for the targeted use of developer contributions, including on site design, Section 106, and CIL which can support delivery of infrastructure requirements and provision of local community benefit.

The SBTP has been finalised and agreed by its three key partners, and we have now recognised it as evidence for the Local Plan Review, and has accepted the principle of the SBTP as a material consideration in planning.

In October 2017, we published our Economic Growth Strategy for 2017-2021.  One of the key actions identified within the Strategy was the development of a local growth strategy for each of our key market towns. 

The Shrewsbury Big Town Plan (2018) produced by Shrewsbury Business Improvement District, Shrewsbury Town Council, and us is the Local Economic Growth Strategy for the town. You can find more information about the Big Town Plan here: