Shropshire Council

Oswestry 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 Oswestry 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: 

  • Development of Oswestry Innovation Park - 22.7ha of strategic employment land to drive long term sustainability in Oswestry and create the conditions for employment growth.  
  • Improvements to the strategic road network at Mile End to unlock planned and future housing and employment development opportunities.  
  • Provision of new housing through the Oswestry Sustainable Urban Extension with up to 800 housing units plus mixed-use development proposed. 
  • Potential for a mixed use development (including key worker accommodation) at Park Hall. 
  • Development of innovative healthcare opportunities with RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital.  
  • ICT / Broadband improvements to meet demands from new development and economic growth (including rural and other remote parts of the place plan area). 
  • Electricity supply upgrade to support new development, along with additional water and sewage capacity (including in rural and other remote parts of the place plan area).

Projects

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

This area in the countywide plan

Core strategyy

The Core Strategy, as referenced at section 2.1, recognises the role of Shropshire’s market towns and key centres through Policy CS3. This policy outlines how all of 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 read more from Policy CS3 on our planning policy pages.    

For Oswestry, Policy CS3 recognises that: 

  • Oswestry will provide a focus for major development with an integrated and sustainable urban extension to the south east of Oswestry, on land between Shrewsbury Road, Middleton Road, and the A5/A483 Oswestry bypass. 
  • This strategic location will accommodate a mix of new housing (750+ dwellings), employment land (4-6 hectare Business Park), a local centre, a network of open space and green infrastructure, and a new link road between Shrewsbury Road and Middleton Road, together with sustainable transport improvements. 
  • The town is a service centre for a wide rural hinterland, including parts of Wales, and this is reflected in the busyness of the centre. 
  • Phasing of development will be linked to infrastructure delivery, particularly waste water treatment capacity and road junction capacity 

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 Oswestry, and then for the wider area, are as follows: 

  • Oswestry will provide a focus for major development in this part of Shropshire, comprising around 2,600 dwellings and 45 hectares of employment land during the period 2006-2026. 
  • New housing development will be delivered through the allocation of a combination of existing brownfield sites and a range of new greenfield sites, together with an allowance for windfall development. 
  • There will be specific site allocations for 39 hectares of new employment land. 
  • Development proposals will be expected to demonstrate that they have taken account of the policies and guidelines contained in the Oswestry 2020 Town Plan (2013) and any other future community-led plan or masterplan that is adopted by Shropshire Council. 

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: 

  • Oswestry will continue to act as a Principal Centre and contribute towards the strategic growth objectives in the north west of the county 
  • Development will balance the need for additional housing and employment, accommodating around 1,800 dwellings and around 19 hectares of employment development between 2016 and 2036. 
  • Additional development opportunities adjacent to the existing Development Boundary for Oswestry are now extremely restricted by the presence of physical, heritage, and environmental constraints such as Oswestry Hillfort, sensitive landscapes to the north and west, the Oswestry bypass to the east, and flood risk and accessibility issues to the south. 
  • Shropshire Council proposes to deliver the majority of the new housing required by responding positively to the principles outlined by the Oswestry Civic Society in its proposed Oswestry 2050 approach by reinforcing the existing urban fabric of the former Park Hall Camp. 
  • Within the Oswestry Place Plan area, 11 proposed Community Hubs have been identified. Hub locations are: GobowenKinnerley, KnockinLlanymynech, Pant, Ruyton Xi Towns, St Martins, Trefonen, West Felton, Weston Rhyn, and Whittington.  

More about Oswestry

Oswestry is an ancient market town located in the north of Shropshire close to the English / Welsh border, with excellent economic and transport links to both Shrewsbury and cross county to Welshpool, Wrexham, and Chester, and to the regional cities of Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. 

The origins of the town are uncertain, although the town’s market dates back to 1190.  Historically, Oswestry has also been an important coal mining area, with the large Ifton colliery closing in 1968.  

The area is steeped in ancient history, with one of the best-preserved Iron Age hill forts in the country, as well as Pontycyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is also a variety of industrial heritage and community attractions and assets, including Cambrian Heritage Railway, Montgomery Canal, and Llanymynech Heritage Site.  

Most of Oswestry town centre has been designated a Conservation Area, conveying a mixture of architectural styles. There are many old timber framed houses, for example Llywd Mansion on Cross Street, the Heritage Centre, the Blackgate, the Fox Inn and the shops along Beatrice Street.

Georgian architecture is also represented, particularly around St Oswald's Church, where there are a number of imposing town houses. The town also has a significant Victorian legacy, and many of the shop fronts and facades, terraced houses, churches and railway buildings reflect this period.

There are further conservation areas nearby at Whittington Castle, Pant Glas and Brogyntyn 

Oswestry still functions as a market town, with regular events and markets in the town, and a nearby livestock market which preserves the town’s agricultural links. Oswestry is a good base for walking, with the Wilfred Owen trail enabling walkers to find out more about the famous war poet’s childhood in Oswestry.

There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking or biking along the Offa’s Dyke Path.  

Parishes and local elected members

This Place Plan covers the following Town and Parish Councils:  

  • Kinnerley Parish Council 
  • Knockin Parish Council 
  • Llanyblodwel Parish Council 
  • Llanymynech and Pant Parish Council 
  • Oswestry Rural Parish Council 
  • Oswestry Town Council 
  • Ruyton XI Towns Parish Council 
  • Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council  
  • St Martins Parish Council 
  • West Felton Parish Council 
  • Weston Rhyn Parish Council 
  • Whittington Parish Council 

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

  • Robert Macey (SelattynGobowen & Weston Rhyn 
  • Steve Charmley (Whittington & West Felton) 
  • Joyce Barrow (Oswestry Rural) 
  • Steve Davenport (St Martins) 
  • Nick Bardsley (Ruyton Xi Towns) 
  • Vince Hunt (Oswestry Town Ward) 
  • Paul Milner (Oswestry Town Ward) 
  • John Price (Oswestry TownWard) 
  • Clare Aspinall (Oswestry Town Ward) 
  • Mark T Jones (SelattynGobowen & Weston Rhyn) 
  • Matt Lee (Llanyblodwel, Llanymynech & Pant, KnockinKinnerley & Melverley) 

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

Other local plans

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

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

Community led plans

Neighbourhood Plan / Plan 'Light'

Local Economic Growth Strategies for Oswestry 

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 Oswestry Local Economic Growth Strategy (LEGS) has been prepared in conjunction with a range of stakeholders, including the town council, surrounding parish councils, and local businesses. The intention is that the strategy is not just confined to the town itself but also takes in the wider hinterland.   

The Oswestry LEGS is supported by this document – the Oswestry and Surrounding Area Place Plan. This document supports the Oswestry LEGS by identifying infrastructure needs within the area, which in turn will help to create the conditions and an environment that will attract people and business to the area. 

The economic vision for Oswestry has been formed collaboratively and informed by engagement with the town and parishes.  

The vision is:  

The economic vision for Oswestry is about enabling growth through the innovative use of existing assets and land to both attract and retain key businesses. Oswestry has a strong sense of place which is reflected in the economic portrait of the town. There is a real drive within the town to act on its economic ambitions with specific scope to attract new businesses, retain young people, provide higher skilled jobs, support the independent retailers, boost the night time economy and provide accommodation to encourage both visitors and businesses to invest. 

A number of key themes were raised as part of the engagement with local stakeholders and these are addressed within the Oswestry LEGS. In summary, the key themes are: 

  • Opportunities to promote Oswestry as a destination and a gateway with improvements to road network and gateway site.  
  • Aspiration to capitalise on Oswestry’s location, unique assets and cultural offer to raise the profile of Oswestry.
  • Provision of more accommodation offer to attract and retain visitors.
  • Making sure that there is enough land to provide grow on space to attract and retain major employers. 
  • Opportunities around the hospital and health clustering.
  • Development of a growth corridor.