AN UPDATED masterplan which could see the delivery of nearly 1,200 homes and bring more than 4,000 new jobs to Solihull town centre has been approved.
Solihull Council has voted to adopt the new plan which provides a framework for investment and development in the town centre for the next 15 years.
It also ensures that future developments respond to the Council’s priorities, particularly around economic growth, health and wellbeing, sustainability, climate change, transport, safety and security.
Delivery of the new Masterplan would see 1,178 new homes built, along with the provision for office space and retail, leisure and active ground floor space in the town centre.
Solihull Coucnil say the 2020 Masterplan has been informed by extensive consultation, engagement and research and responds to the known strengths and challenges facing the town.
It adds the latest masterplan identifies various opportunities to modernise and diversify the current leisure and ‘experience’ offer.
Key features of the Masterplan include a major redevelopment of Solihull railway station, a new multi-storey carpark, a new council headquarters and traffic projects.
There is also guidance on the future redevelopment of Mell Square and spaces where new housing can be incorporated.
An earlier Masterplan, was drawn up in 2016 informed by a range of visioning studies, property market reviews and extensive stakeholder engagement and consultation activity.
The latest refresh builds on this work but has been updated over the summer to ensure it considers and responds to local, regional and national policy, land and property development that have occurred in the intervening four years and current economic conditions including the impact of COVID-19.
Coun Ian Courts, leader of the Council and cabinet member for the economy said: “By taking a wider view of upcoming developments and investment opportunities we can ensure that we are effectively planning for the future of our town centre ensuring that we deliver managed economic growth while aligning this growth to other key strategic objectives, such as our climate change goals of net zero carbon emissions by 2041.
“There are significant challenges facing all sectors of the economy at this time but our Town Centre Masterplan sets out a roadmap for the continued prosperity of the town centre, helping attract future inward investment and build on Solihull’s position as a key regional wealth creator.
“Solihull Town Centre benefits from a proven track record of attracting international occupiers and investment, supporting a strong commercial and residential market.
“The Council is determined to support our retail and commercial centres by being an active partner in their future. This is more important than ever in the current climate as all sectors plan their reset and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We know that key factors such as its economic dynamism, well-balanced sector profile, and highly-qualified workforce mean that Solihull Town Centre is well placed to lead in this recovery. That is why we are prioritising bold and exciting town centre developments such as Eastgate, which are about looking ahead and planting the seeds for our future prosperity.”
Coun Courts will be discussing the Town Centre Masterplan, along with a range of other upcoming projects, with an audience of investors at the Midlands UK Forum for Growth virtual event later this month.
Detailed consultation will be undertaken on individual development sites and infrastructure projects as they come forward.