Call for new designer outlet in Ironbridge Gorge
A Cheshire Oaks-style outlet mall would successfully attract people to Ironbridge, a councillor has claimed.
Councillor Eric Carter, who represents Newport on Telford & Wrekin Council, has long campaigned to get a railway back to the Ironbridge Gorge.
Councillor Carter, chairman of the Marches Strategic Rail Group, welcomed plans for retail use of the railway in the Gorge, but said something needed to be built to attract people to the area.
His comments come after the owners of the former Ironbridge Power Station site revealed the latest versions of their plans.
The Harworth Group, which bought the former power station site last year, has outlined plans to create about 1,000 homes, space for businesses and leisure facilities, a school, village centre and park and ride scheme.
Councillor Carter said: "The proposed layout seems to be 95 per cent housing – that's not what I'd like to see.
"There's nothing like what we have in Ironbridge, with the bridge itself, the river. We have all the museums.
"I've always foreseen a McArthurGlen-style outset, like Cheshire Oaks. The station can take them straight into the heart of the retail site."
Councillor Carter said there was still time to work out the plans.
"This is something we've been waiting a long time to happen," he said. "It's going to be another couple of years at least for the plans.
"We've got time to work on this, but we need to start thinking about it now."