Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has expressed its broad support for the proposed North West Relief Road in Shrewsbury, saying it could pave the way to job-creating inward investment.

The four-mile route, running from the Ellesmere Road roundabout at Battlefield in the north of the town, to the A5 at Churncote Island in the west, would complete the circular bypass around Shrewsbury.

Supporters say it can bring significant economic benefits to the town, but concerns have also been raised over the environmental impact of the project.

The road, which will include a viaduct over the river Severn, has been in the discussion stage for nearly 30 years, but a planning application has now been formally lodged.

Richard Sheehan, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said: “We are broadly supportive of this important infrastructure investment.

“It will create jobs - both in the short term during the construction work, and longer term through the inward investment opportunities it is bound to create.

“It is important, though, that the use of local suppliers is made a priority, and that as sensitive an approach as possible is taken concerning the environmental impact of the route.”