The Welsh Bridge in Shrewsbury

What says “This is Shrewsbury” to you?

What parts of the town centre make you say “this is Shrewsbury”? That’s the question being put to people as part of a project to create a design code for future development areas in the town.

Shropshire Council, on behalf of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan partnership, has appointed architectural and public realm experts, LDA Design, to take the lead on a project which will establish a set of design principles that encourages high quality development in Shrewsbury.

The project will ensure that the future design of the town’s buildings, streets and public spaces enhance Shrewsbury’s enviable and charming character. The design code will inform developers how spaces can be designed to their fullest potential.

One of the key priorities agreed through the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan was that any new developments should reflect the town’s unique character and heritage by meeting ‘The Shrewsbury Test’.

The project has been grant funded by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), and Shropshire Council is one of twenty-five councils taking part in the Design Code Pathfinders programme.

Working alongside Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID, and in line with the principles and objectives of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan, LDA Design will lead a series of stakeholder engagement workshops to gauge public views.

Work has started to develop the design code for Riverside, Frankwell and the west end of the town centre – and people are being urged to get involved by visiting a bespoke consultation website. On this site, people can view an interactive map and complete a short survey to share their aspirations for the future design of buildings and public spaces in the town centre.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for growth and regeneration, said:

“We want to know what makes people go ‘wow!’; and conversely, what has the opposite effect.

“What are good examples of how Shrewsbury should look, and what needs to change? How do people think things should change in the future?

“It’s all about giving the community the opportunity to shape the future of their town, and we would urge as many people as possible to get involved.”

Councillor Alan Mosley, Leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, said:

“Shrewsbury Town Council has long since advocated good design and have been a supporter of the Shrewsbury Test and the Shropshire Test in the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan vision and the Local Plan.

“This project gives us the opportunity to articulate what is important to us in the planning system, and what we learn from this town centre project will really help us expand the concept across the town. The code will be vital in ensuring that developments are well designed, are compatible with their settings and, of course, adhere to climate change policies.”

Mark Graham from LDA Design said:

“We are delighted to be working with Shropshire Council and the people of Shrewsbury to drive forward design quality in the town. The principles set out within the Big Town Plan defined an ambitious vision for the town centre, a vision which placed quality of life and quality design at the forefront of the town’s regeneration.”

Seb Slater, executive director of Shrewsbury BID, said:

“We are delighted to be part of this project, which will give local businesses a voice in establishing design codes for the town centre. As well as ensuring we are making the most of Shrewsbury’s unique assets, the project will help identify new commercial opportunities and support investment into the town.”