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New fears for the future of the “vital” Bridgnorth parking lot after a seven-figure deal

The Old Smithfield car park in Bridgnorth was bought by developers for £ 1.2 million

The loss has been said to occur in Bridgnorth at Old Smithfield Car Park after it was bought by Ziran Land from Sainsbury’s in February for £ 1.2 million – with a nursing home company listed as a beneficiary.

The Bridgnorth Chamber of Commerce raised concerns to Shropshire Council in 2020 that a possible sale could reduce the number of “vital” spaces in the city – where parking is a known problem.

This came after a controversial planning investigation that granted Ziran Land permission to build retail stores in the country in June 2018. The plans met with around 7,000 objections and sparked protests from local residents before apparently breaking through.

An 80-year car park management contract from 2008 also states that the property “must be available to the public as a parking space for private vehicles during trading hours and primarily for buyers visiting the premises and / or shops or other premises in the neighborhood”.

Pre-sale emails seen by the Shropshire Star indicate that Shropshire Council motorways and parking teams have confirmed that “no council officials are aware of any proposed alternative use of this car park”.

There were protests against the possible loss of the parking space in 2017

They add that “Shropshire Council is not aware of any land transfer” and that the car park management arrangement remains unchanged.

City councils said businesses would “suffer” if the parking lot was lost.

Alderman Geoff Davies, who represents the castle department, said he felt hundreds of rooms were “at risk”.

“This could potentially affect Main Street as there are many shoppers and people coming to Bridgnorth Park,” Councilor Davies said. “There are more than 100 businesses on Main Street and they will have to suffer if that happens.”

A spokesman for the Bridgnorth Chamber of Commerce added: “It would make no sense for a developer to buy a piece of land if they were not reasonably confident that their plans could be fulfilled.

“As we know, they are no longer trying to get the building permits for retail stores and we must therefore assume that they have indeed been encouraged to make alternative plans.”

Shropshire Council and Ziran Land were invited to comment.

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