MORE than 1,100 new homes, a renovated Mell Square and a space for outdoor performances are just some of the plans set for Solihull town centre.
A major redevelopment of the railway station, a new multi-storey carpark, a new council headquarters and traffic projects at a number of roundabouts are also proposed in the updated Solihull Town Centre Masterplan.
The document, released by Solihull Council ahead of a cabinet meeting on Thursday (TONIGHT November 5), lays out plans for the town centre for the next 15 years.
It identifies six areas in the heart of the borough and gives details of how each zone is expected to evolve.
The document – which updates a blueprint produced back in 2016 – details how the railway centre will be redeveloped, where the new housing will be and how Theatre Square can be developed.
It also outlines plans for a new multi-storey carpark on Lode Lane which will have almost 500 spaces.
The document says the vision for Solihull Police Station on Homer Road is for it to be replaced “with high quality office accommodation and new urban living opportunities.”
It says the site could have up to 65 residential units alongside office space in a bid to ‘diversify the town centre economy.’
In Mell Square plans are to create a retail loop linking with Touchwood, High Street and Eastgate site, reduce traffic flow in the area in order to prioritise pedestrians and redesign the the space so it can be used for public events.
UK Central Solihull, who created the document wrote: “Bold measures need to be taken to capitalise on the potential of the town centre; guaranteeing its resilience and ensuring that it can meet future challenges through ‘managed’ growth, whilst retaining the character which makes Solihull so popular.
“National trends in retail have shown that many places are suffering declines in footfall and increased retail vacancies which are transforming High Streets up and down the country and although it is a successful thriving town, Solihull has not been immune to these trends which have been accelerated during the Covid-19 crisis.
“To maintain the current character of the town and plan for sustainable, inclusive growth it is important to establish now the identity of the town and the crystallise aspirations for the future uses of the town centre, including identifying the interventions that will need to be made if Solihull is to remain a retail and leisure destination.”
A number of changes have been made to the previous version of the masterplan in light of events over the past four years.
These include the axing of plans to extend Touchwood shopping centre, a decision to redevelop Solihull train station and the replacement of Solihull Magistrates Court.
Climate change policies adopted by the council and the impact of Covid-19, which has hit high streets and businesses hard and have also been factored in.