Members considered the report in relation to the Redditch Town Centre Regeneration. The Head of Economic Development and Regeneration for North Worcestershire provided an overview outlining the work proposed to be undertaken during the next twelve months.
On 6th March, 2018, the Executive Committee received a number of proposals contained within a Regeneration Prospectus relating to the Redditch Town Centre. The outcome of the One Public Estate review for Redditch Town Centre was reported to the Executive Committee. The key findings and recommendations of the strategic review were endorsed.
It was reported that, whilst the regeneration of Redditch Town Centre was central to the proposals, and the establishment of a Council-led Public Services Hub, the proposed site at Church Road was no longer considered an appropriate location due to the costs involved and weak office market, which undermined the rationale for a ‘Business Quarter’ to be developed around Church Road. The Council would work with the NHS and Homes England to identify other viable options for the Church Road site.
It was proposed that the Council should progress the detailed business case for the Public Services Hub and would commission external support to identify site options, partner requirements, funding and delivery options and benefits for the scheme. In addition, the Council was to ensure that the public was consulted prior to any decisions being made in respect of the location.
A number of ideas and concepts contained within the Regeneration Prospectus would continue to be supported by the Council.
Arising from Members’ questions, the following points were considered:
· The Council would continue to work with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service and West Mercia Police to develop a joint Blue Light Hub facility and ensure that the existing sites were re-developed to support the regeneration of the Town Centre.
· Middle House Lane would be a potential site for the Blue Light Hub. It was vital that the Police were located in the Town Centre and was part of the Hub.
· An assessment would be undertaken to established suitable proposals in respect of the Police Station at Grove Street, in terms of market value.
· A number of proposals would be discussed with representatives of the Railway Station and the West Midlands Combined Authority in relation to the Railway Quarter to identify both residential and commercial development opportunities that would be exciting and dynamic.
· In respect of Edward Street and Britten Street, the Council would work with landowners to look at suitable developments. It was important that the Council had a clear delivery strategy to identify any funding opportunities.
Members were informed that the Council would continue to identify any potential funding opportunities to support the regeneration proposals and would be progressing an application for £5m of funding to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).
The Chief Executive stated that it was important that the Council had a long-term vision for Redditch Town Centre that provided an exciting opportunity to make improvements for the people in Redditch.
that the Redditch Town Centre Regeneration Report be noted.
(During consideration of this item Councillors Joe Baker and Mark Shurmer declared other disclosable interests as they had been members of the Executive Committee when a decision had previously been taken in respect of the One Public Estate. As such they left the room during consideration of this item and took no part in the debate or voting thereon. In the absence of the Chair Councillor Pattie Hill chaired the meeting during consideration of this item).