Business as usual for Kingshurst as community prepares for demolition to start


Ambitious Council-led plans to redevelop Kingshurst Village Centre are progressing steadily as local residents get ready for the large scale stage of demolition to start.

Early site clearance got underway last year with the demolition of the old clinic building, nearby garage blocks and the former housing office (Solihull Youth Hub building). Contractors are now undertaking some final utility works ahead of the next step which will include the complete demolition of the main body of the existing arcade (The Parade) marking a key project milestone for the scheme.

Residents will start to notice activity ramping up over the coming weeks, with demolition expected to start from late March lasting through until the end of July.

To minimise disruption to those living and working in Kingshurst, a number of businesses and services previously operating on The Parade have been temporarily relocated so that they can continue to serve the local community throughout the demolition and later construction work.

As part the Council’s commitment to help retain key local shops and services throughout the development period, the opticians, pharmacy and Co-op were all temporarily relocated last year into units which will not be included in the first phase of the redevelopment. This also made it possible to support the return of the Post Office which reopened inside the Pharmacy.

Following some internal refurbishment, the Council has also assisted the local hairdressers to complete their temporary move. Hair Asylum, previously located at 95 The Parade, has now joined the Co-op in a separate unit based within the former Youth and Community Centre building. This is the final business that needed to be relocated meaning that the main Parade building can now be demolished.

Salon Owner, Jackie McKay said:

"We have been cutting hair in Kingshurst for over 30 years and I like to think that in that time we have become a key part of the local community. I know lots of our customers find it really important that they have a hairdresser right on their doorstep that they don’t need to drive to or catch a bus to visit. While this is only a temporary solution for us the new premises is working well. Despite all the work taking place around us, we are very much open for business and would like to thank all of our lovely customers for their support over the years. Just a reminder, we've changed our phone number since moving premises. You can now reach us on 0794 765 6936."

Central Co-op Store Manager, Paul added:

"It’s been business as usual for us since first welcoming customers to our new temporary store back in November. In fact, since moving we’ve introduced a number of enhancements including; self-scan checkouts, in store bakery and additional ranges. We’ve also been able to increase our opening hours from 7am to 9pm daily."

As well as the GP surgery, which is staying put for the time being, one essential service which also isn’t moving just yet is the local dentist, which has been recently taken under new management.

Dentist Dr Shiv Parekh said:

“As the Kingshurst regeneration project begins to shape our community we will initially be staying put in our existing location opposite the library. By the time our building is ready for demolition we hope to have moved to the brand new ‘Kingshurst Integrated Health and Community Wellness Hub’ where we will share the building with your local GP, pharmacy and opticians. I look forward to working with Solihull Council and the NHS Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (ICB) to help feed into the emerging designs and define some of the requirements for this exciting new community building.”

A full planning application for the scheme was approved last year which makes provision for up to 79 new sustainable homes, the majority of which will be social rented housing through Solihull Community Housing (SCH), as well as a new vicarage for St Barnabas’ Church. It also shows an improved road layout linking the village centre to the surrounding area, with open green space alongside a wide footpath to join Kingshurst Park to the school and the heart of the development. As well as the new homes, the plans also create 1207m² of modern floor space for a range of retail and high street uses and a further 2,001m² for health uses and flexible community spaces, including a community café, GP, dentist, opticians and pharmacy within a Community Hub.

The project team are now carefully planning the next stage of the project, taking into consideration the current construction environment and the impact that increased material costs and inflation is having on development projects, right across the country.

The phased approach adopted by Solihull Council, which is acting as the developer, should help mitigate these challenges, and means the overall order, priority and delivery of stages can be adjusted if needed. 

Solihull Council and Solihull Community Housing remain committed to the overall delivery of a redeveloped Kingshurst Village Centre.

Cllr Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council commented:

“The regeneration of Kingshurst Village Centre was always going to be a complicated scheme to deliver. That is why a commitment was made early on to maintain essential shops and services within the village centre by temporarily relocating some of these. This means that they can continue operating around The Parade throughout the demolition and construction works.

“We have achieved a great deal and made significant progress over the last two years. In that time, we have successfully consolidated land ownership across the site, agreed an ambitious masterplan and secured planning permission for the scheme. We now find ourselves just weeks away from the first substantial phase of demolition. Despite its challenges, I want to reassure residents that we remain committed to seeing this important regeneration scheme through to the end.

“I wish to thank local people for their patience and support in this programme, which we all recognise has been complex and very difficult at times. As with any project like this we will continue to review, and where necessary adapt, our delivery approach but we will remain focused on our overall vision of delivering a transformative scheme with high-standard modern, family housing along with a range of community, health and local services.”