Ambitious plans for renewing Kingshurst Village Centre moved a step closer last night (Thursday 10 October) with the Council’s Cabinet Members approving a new Planning Brief for the regeneration of the area. Approval was also given for a temporary Community Space, which organisers aim to open in time for the October half term.
Following extensive local engagement a final Planning Brief has been developed outlining the potential scope for the redevelopment of the Village Centre. A detailed scheme masterplan is now being prepared for consultation in advance of submitting a planning application.
As well as providing modern housing and improved retail and health amenities in line with the Local Plan, the Brief includes proposals for a redesigned layout which will open up the village centre around the parish church and Kingshurst Primary School, creating a vibrant and welcoming focal point for the community. Planners are hoping to build on the success of similar regeneration projects in the north of the borough at Chelmund’s Cross and Smith’s Wood.
The scheme, previously a North Solihull Partnership (NSP) project, is now led by the Council with development funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The recent consultation work showed clear support for the redevelopment of the existing parade, and a slightly expanded site, in order to maximise the opportunity for change. There was also strong support for creating a new link road between Over Green Drive and Colling Walk to build stronger connections between the Village Centre and the surrounding area.
A key part of the scheme will be a focus on how the local health and wellbeing facilities and services can be supported and strengthened. Final designs are expected to include a health hub including a GP surgery, pharmacy and dentist as well as provision for Community Space.
To understand the scale of demand and how a future Community Space may operate, the Council will work with the local community on a 12 month Community Space pilot.
Plans are being brought forward to reopen the ground floor of the former youth centre. This temporary Community Space will also be used as a focal point for future engagement and consultation as the scheme progresses.
Council Leader, Cllr Ian Courts, whose Economy Portfolio includes responsibility for Town Centre property said:
“Approval of the Planning Brief marks a really important milestone for the transformational regeneration of Kingshurst Village Centre.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to create a high quality, community focussed centre at the heart of the Kingshurst neighbourhood.”
“We are all determined to make sure we get this right and build on the success of our other regeneration schemes in the north of the borough. There is a huge amount of work going on to bring the scheme to fruition and we will look forward to seeing a more detailed scheme masterplan emerge shortly.”
Commenting on the Community Space pilot Cllr Alison Rolf, Cabinet Member for Stronger & Safer Communities said:
“Alongside the physical bricks and mortar, a key objective of this scheme is to support people to be engaged and involved in their local community.
“We know from discussions with community leaders that the current community facilities are well used. Working with the local community on a 12 month Community Space pilot will help us gain a clearer understanding of what is required.
“This is also a fantastic opportunity to test out even closer community partnership work in the area. A group representing the local community and partners will oversee use of the space for the pilot period.”
Further work will now continue to develop a more detailed scheme masterplan, it is anticipated that a report, detailing the proposed scheme and seeking approval for public consultation will go to Cabinet before the end of the year. The report will also provide an update and details on the next steps for the delivery of the scheme.
Residents interested in this project can sign up for regular email bulletins by going to the Council website: www.solihull.gov.uk, clicking on the Stay Connected button on the home page and selecting ‘Kingshurst Village Centre Regeneration. The Planning Brief can be viewed here:https://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-the-Council/partnerships/Kingshurst-Village-Centre-Regeneration