Henderson Global Investors has submitted a planning application to Wyre Forest District Council to enhance Kidderminster town centre and its retail offer.
Proposals for Weavers Wharf include a new anchor retail unit of 60,000 sq ft; three restaurants next to the canal of about 3,500 sq ft each; three café/retail units overlooking a new square totalling just over 10,000 sq ft and a new bridge over the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal to provide access to the Matalan store directly from Weavers Wharf retail park.
The application focuses on plans to transform the River Stour into a centrepiece within a new public square, which will feature markets, fetes and other events, flanked by new restaurants and cafes. The proposals include new trees and landscaping, new street furniture, seating and extensive areas of pedestrian priority space. The area will also include a flexible area for short stay parking which will be available for use when markets or events are not being held. The proposals include the demolition of a number of shops and offices including Crown House, a building regarded by many as creating a negative image for the town. Henderson proposes to relocate all affected businesses within the town centre.
Martin Perry, director of retail development at Henderson, said: “We have engaged extensively with the local community on this project and the feedback received has been extremely useful in helping us finalise our proposals. We are excited about this next stage in the development process and hope to begin work to transform the area next year.
It is likely that the application will be determined in March-April next year. Pending approval, work is likely to start in mid-2014 and complete in summer 2016. Turley Associates is advising on planning.