OSWESTRY is set for a real 'boom time', according to a Shropshire councillor as key stakeholders for the planned innovation park in Mile End, outside Oswestry, reacted to the plans being submitted last week.

The plans for the £45 million project include the creation of almost 1,300 jobs at a proposed hotel and 21 business units on the site, next to Mile End roundabout.

Councillor Steve Charmley, deputy leader and Cabinet member for Assets, Economic Growth and Regeneration, insist ther plans will prove to be the gateway for a great future for the town.

"The development of Oswestry Innovation Park has been many years in the making, the key to unlocking the site was securing funding for much needed changes to Mile End roundabout," he said.

"This will also be a catalyst for housing development between the leisure centre and the bypass.

"Given the amount of enquiries coming through from companies looking to take on sites on the new business park and companies looking for grow on space from existing units in the area.

"Oswestry is set for a real boom time. The new park will be creating new jobs for the area which will be a boost for the local economy as I hope that these will be local jobs for local people.

"It will be a timely boost for jobs as Oswestry Town Centre will also be getting a facelift, having recently been awarded its own funding to freshen up our high street.

"I believe that Oswestry has a great future, with new jobs being created locally and a brighter high street. Things are looking up for our town."

Meanwhile, Oswestry Civic Society's planning officer, David Ward, said that while they welcomed the investment into Oswestry, it has not been with climate change or non-car users in mind.

"The Civic Society welcomes investment in the town," he said.

"It will be particularly gratifying if it lives up to its billing, and is set aside for truly innovative enterprises. As an example, this site is close to a major cluster of heavy goods depots.

"To respond to climate change this industry must quickly move away from diesel propulsion, to either hydrogen fuel cell or electric battery power.

"So, it would be good to see this site hosting development work on this type of propulsion, or accommodating a hydrogen fuelling station.

"It is unfortunate that this site is being developed without giving the priority of access to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users, required by Government policy.

"These things were treated as after thoughts, with the result that once again the best is not being made of this opportunity.

"It is time those who plan development in the area joined up their thinking on these issues, and then we could give three cheers for an innovation, rather than two cheers only."

Adele Nightingale, from Oswestry BID, added: "We are in communication with Shropshire Council regarding the innovation park and we think it will be a real positive for the economic growth of Oswestry.

We want to make sure that Oswestry businesses know in advance of the opportunities it might bring in terms of availability to move there or to expand.

"We also want to be sure the timeline of construction is communicated effectively to the existing businesses, so they are aware of any traffic/highways issues this may bring and possibly impact on their day to day operations.

"It is important that they know this in advance in order that they can make any adjustments they feel necessary while this exciting project develops."