Shropshire Council


The Shrewsbury North West Relief Road (NWRR) will provide a new, single carriageway road linking the northern and western parts of Shrewsbury. It will include a new bridge over the River Severn and its flood plain, and a new bridge over the Shrewsbury-Chester railway line. The NWRR will connect the A5 at Welshpool Road roundabout in the west to the Ellesmere Road roundabout in the north.

The cost of constructing the NWRR is estimated to be £87.1m. In March 2019 the Department for Transport awarded £54m towards the construction of the road and Shropshire Council will provide the balance of the cost, and responsibility for any cost increases.

In August 2019 Shropshire Council withdrew its planning application for the Oxon Link Road in Shrewsbury, and will now include the proposed road within the planning application for the NWRR. By combining the schemes, the Oxon Link Road can more easily contribute to the strategic objective of the NWRR, whilst also better delivering on the link road’s specific goal of facilitating the Shrewsbury West Urban Extension (SUE).

A public consultation was held in early 2020 to give stakeholders and residents an opportunity to comment on the combined scheme in advance of the planning application, which was submitted on 19 February 2021. This consultation is now closed but details can still be found on our consultation portal.

Originally, a NWRR planning application was due to be submitted in July 2020, but this was put on hold while we considered the implications of the funding announcement for the Severn Valley Water Management Scheme (SVWMS). This process has now been completed and the following concluded. The planning application is for a road scheme only and includes a viaduct across the River Severn and its flood plain at Shelton, instead of an extended embankment design that was proposed in the public consultation in 2020.

Estimated cost of the proposed North West Relief Road

With the revised application, the current estimated cost of building the proposed road has been reduced from £87.1m to £80.1, saving £7 million.

Estimated costs showing budget drop from £87.1 million to £80.1 million

Taking your views on board

A revised planning application was submitted in August 2021 to the Local Planning Authority following the initial planning application in February 2021.

This revised planning application included a number of changes, made in response to the feedback received plus detailed surveying of the proposed site over the preceding months allowing for lower carbon construction methods, less construction traffic and more reusing of earth to build embankments.

Here is a summary of the changes and what they mean?

  • Simplification of the scheme’s River Severn viaduct will mean that the carbon impact from construction will be cut by 31% (equivalent to 22,200 tonnes of carbon).
  • Current estimated cost of building the proposed road reduced by £7 million.
  • A reduction of the construction area means more trees (more mature trees to be kept and more trees to be planted).
  • 7 km of new cycleways, bridleways and footpaths added to the North of Shrewsbury.
  • Free up road space in Shrewsbury to encourage more walking and cycling in the town.
  • Reduce journey times in and around Shrewsbury, cut traffic through village “rat runs” north of Shrewsbury and provide a significant boost to business across Shropshire.

Infographic showing the improvements

Carbon Management Plan

An independent expert review of Shropshire Council’s carbon management for the proposed Shrewsbury North West Relief Road has verified the Council’s calculations on the impact of the project.

Academics at Birmingham University were commissioned to carry out a peer review of the NWRR Carbon Management Report. Shropshire Council’s carbon management report is now available, along with the review of the report.

Supplementary environmental information

In response to the consultee comments to the planning application, Supplementary Environmental Information was submitted to the Local Planning Authority in early February 2023. The submission proposes changes to the scheme to embed further mitigation and compensation measures to reduce the environmental impacts and can be summarised as follows

  • Extension of the Application Boundary, to desist agricultural activities in the area of land around Hencott Pool Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as part of the proposed mitigation measures. This extension is required, as a result of the updated nitrogen assessment, to mitigate the impact of the Proposed Scheme during operation, on ammonia concentrations and nitrogen deposition;
  • Amendment to the proposed bank protection design along the River Severn. The proposed River Severn Bank Protection, on the western bank of the River Severn, will comprise of rock bags placed for a length of up to 86m along the River Severn. Green bank protection is also proposed;
  • Changes to existing and new proposed drainage, Public Right of Ways (PRoW), and access/maintenance tracks;
  • Changes to mitigation previously proposed to address consultee comments; and
  • Minor changes that have no material effect on conclusions presented to date.

This revised planning application is now open for comments and engagement with landowners and stakeholders will continue.

Clearly, the planning process presents a key opportunity for the whole community to engage in the decision-making process.

The application reference for the road is 21/00924/EIA, with the submitted documents added to the planning online register between 11 January and 3 February 2023. Residents and businesses will be able to give their views on the scheme through the comments section on the application.