Solihull Town Centre Masterplan
Solihull Council has developed a town centre Masterplan which will provide a blueprint for future investment and development in the town centre over the next twenty years. It seeks to provide a framework to maximise opportunities, make best use of existing assets, and set out a clear vision for Solihull in 2036 while still retaining the character which makes the town centre so popular.
While Solihull is already an attractive town with excellent shopping facilities and employment opportunities, the town centre is made up of large single-use areas, which have little interaction.
Current land use in the town centre is divided between the retail core (the High Street, Mell Square and Touchwood) and commercial areas (along Homer Road and the western edge of Warwick Road) with very few residential areas and significant barriers to pedestrian and bicycle movement. The Masterplan seeks to address this and other challenges, and establishes a number of principles which have been used to inform P2 of the Local Plan:
- The desire to diversify Solihull Town Centre through the introduction of new commercial and residential uses to attract more people throughout the day and to meet changing demands.
- improvements in connectivity with the core of the town centre
- creation of a bespoke station which responds to its surroundings and acts as an important new landmark within the town centre
- the associated opportunities that would emerge for transformational changes to the commercial and business quarter around Homer Road and Princes Way
- The desire to strengthen connectivity by providing improved routes for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport that are high quality, legible and safe. This includes the need to strengthen the place element of the transport network in Solihull town centre including those areas where the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users are to be prioritised.
- The importance of ensuring that the provision of parking in the town centre meets the needs of retailers and businesses, whilst not acting as a constraint to development or mode shift.
- The need to mark the town’s gateways through the creation of unique landmark buildings and to create well designed streets with attractive frontages which encourage vibrant and active street life and create characterful and well defined spaces and routes.
- The value of good urban design and green infrastructure for the town centre, and the importance of creating legible, distinctive, flexible, attractive, safe and inclusive public realm throughout the town centre.
- Opportunity sites which might accommodate significant additional growth and improvements to the connectivity of the town centre. In total, new development in the town centre could deliver:
- Up to 11,700 m² of commercial and leisure development
- Up to 74,620m² of new office development
- 1400 new homes in the town centre with potential for over 100 additional homes on land near the train station
This is part of the ambitious UK Central programme which aims to capitalise on Solihull’s central location, its national and international connectivity, and strong links with Birmingham and Coventry, to make it an even more attractive place to live, work and invest in.
A public consultation on the emerging masterplan helped the Council to understand the existing issues and emerging opportunities in the town centre and gave the community the opportunity to influence its focus and direction. Comments are being invited again as part of the consultation on the Draft Local Plan which can be found at www.solihull.gov.uk/lpr.
The draft masterplan will be subject to review and amendments once the Local Plan review is complete in 2018, and the masterplan will be presented to cabinet following this process.
Draft Solihull town centre masterplan