Solihull Council has published a new Prospectus outlining its ambitious Town Centre Masterplan to unlock the future growth potential of Solihull.
A refreshed masterplan was adopted in November, providing a framework for continued investment and development in Solihull town centre over the next fifteen years.
Delivery of this bold new masterplan in full could see up to 1,178 new homes being built and a potential 4,000 new jobs.
The Council’s masterplan is a blueprint for future developments and any infrastructure improvements to ensure the growth of the town centre is properly planned, coordinated and promoted. It also ensures that future developments respond to, and complement the Council’s priorities, particularly around the themes of economic growth, health and wellbeing, sustainability, climate change.
With the current climate of uncertainty that is facing all local centres, a refreshed evidence based Masterplan for Solihull town centre is more important than ever. Looking ahead it is clear town centres will need to diversify their offer to be successful in the future. Responding to this the masterplan identifies various opportunities to modernise and diversify the current leisure and ‘experience’ offer alongside increased housing and improved transport links.
Economic assessments show that the proposals have the potential to deliver significant economic benefits. It is estimated that the Masterplan could generate £163m gross GVA in the construction phase and produce £325m gross GVA per annum in the operational phase.
The new Prospectus, published today, provides a headline summary of the comprehensive 80-page Town Centre Masterplan, detailing its key aims and objectives. The Prospectus gives residents businesses and local stakeholders an overview of the masterplan focusing on six key Areas of Change; the Western Gateway, Southern Gateway, Business and Commercial Quarter, Northern Approach, Heart of Solihull (Retail Core) and St Alphege Quarter.
Key features of the Masterplan include:
- Redevelopment of Solihull Station to create a modern ‘integrated transport hub’ that includes upgrades to the public realm and green space surrounding the station and creates a high quality gateway into the town centre.
- Brand-new civic and community hub on the Council owned Eastgate site that incorporates: high quality accessible public spaces, new retail and leisure uses and connects well with the existing town centre. This development will also include a new residential neighbourhood providing modern, sustainable, and attainable homes in a town centre setting to increase the town’s residential population and add vibrancy.
- Potential new car parking solutions located on Monkspath Hall Road to support the wider use of this site that could accommodate a range of development uses including housing, commercial, leisure or education.
- Grade A town centre office development at Westgate to enhance the town’s employment offer and provide an attractive new gateway to the town centre’s commercial and business quarter.
- Guidance on the possible future redevelopment of Mell Square to create a diverse and high quality mixed use space. This area could offer the optimal balance of residential, leisure and commercial use set amongst high quality public realm to create an attractive, vibrant, and modern destination in the heart of the town centre.
- Traffic management interventions and enhancements to the public realm around Blossomfield Road Roundabout, including improvements to the pedestrian and cycle connectivity between the town centre and the station.
- An attractive new north-south pedestrian and cycle link between the southern gateway of the town including the Monkspath Hall Road site, and the Business and Commercial Quarter and the core of the town centre.
Cllr Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council and Cabinet Member for the Economy said:
“The impact of COVID has been devastating for all of us and our town centres. But even now as we find ourselves in the midst of third lockdown we know that the current crisis won’t last forever. With the roll out of mass vaccination already underway it’s important that we are able to look beyond this pandemic and start planting the seeds for the future prosperity of our town centre.
“That’s why it’s vital we have a plan to chart our recovery from the current crisis and ensure that our Town Centre can continue to thrive even as the way we use and enjoy it changes.
“After a frankly torrid 2020, it’s very exciting to see a confident, visionary Town Centre Masterplan take shape. Complementing the full Town Centre Masterplan, this Prospectus neatly illustrates the clear vision that we have for Solihull town centre.
“By taking a wider view of upcoming developments and investment opportunities and playing an active part with partners in creating new opportunities, the Council is outing in place a plan for the future of our town centre. A future that ensures we deliver managed economic growth as well as aligning this growth to other key strategic objectives, such as our climate change goals of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2041.”
The Masterplan forms part of the Council’s wider UK Central Solihull programme, delivering key infrastructure projects to support sustainable and inclusive growth across the borough.
To view the Prospectus and Masterplan in full, visit https://www.solihull.gov.uk/About-the-Council/SolihullTownCentreMasterplan