A FEAT of engineering deserves to be named after a giant of Newtown, according to the Town Council.

On Tuesday night, Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Town Council decided that they will campaign to have the £60million Newtown Bypass named after textile manufacturer, philanthropist, social reformer, spiritualist and arguably Newtown's most famous son, Robert Owen

The motion was put before the Council by Councillor David Selby, and was also backed by Ann Pugh who came to the meeting to speak in favour of the motion.

Ann, said: "People from all over the world visit Newtown because of his fame."

"This is a huge piece of engineering and should have a name of resonance.

"Shop keepers have told me that Robert Owen is Newtown's finest son by far.

"This is an excellent way to tell the world at large that we are proud of him."

Cllr David Selby, explained why he had put forward the motion: "Because we get involved so much in the detail we don't stand back sometimes and see what is happening.

"What we're looking at is the one of the biggest infrastructure developments in the town's history.

"Certainly from the Second World War onwards, a bypass has been discussed as the road infrastructure of the town has not been designed for the car or certainly 21st century traffic.

"In a years time we ought to have a big change in how traffic goes through the town. after the canal and railway this is the biggest transport infrastructure project."

Cllr Selby added: "The canal and railway brought people in to the town, this will take people away.

"There are many people who were stuck in traffic today, who will be looking forward to the day they don't even have to see Newtown when travelling.

"When they finish planting the 30,000 to 40,000 trees, standing from the centre of town we will hardly see the construction.

"I would hate to see it named the A483 (A470).

"We need a way of celebrating a fantastic achievement

"Robert Owen has a connection to this town that has lasted 247 years and that means to me it doesn't really need debate.

"Associating that road with what made Newtown important will be part of the re-marketing of our town, our job as a town council is to see this town grow in the correct way.

"I believe the town will grow with the association to Robert Owen.

Cllr Richard Edwards, added: "We need to shout his name from the rooftops, he was working in his own global rural environment."

However, while Newtown Council are now backing this name, a petition has been lodged with the welsh Government to have the by-pass named after the 600 year old Brimmon Oak Tree.

The petition has been signed by 186 people so far and is online until July 2.

The County Times, asked first minister Carwyn Jones his thoughts on naming the by-pass when he visited a factory in Welshpool.

Mr Jones, said: "I'm looking forward to visiting the project, there's no name yet!"

It is hoped that the bypass will be open by Christmas, but the expected completion date is early next year.

What do you think? What should the bypass be called if anything at all? Send your views to elgan.hearn@countytimes.co.uk