Plans to develop Wyre Forest District Council’s Green Street depot have been given the green light.
The site in Green Street, Kidderminster, which is home to the council’s operational services – including its waste fleet and other frontline teams - is in urgent need of repair and refurbishment.
A £3million investment programme – that will see some inefficient and outdated offices demolished and two historic buildings refurbished and brought back into full use – was given planning approval last night subject to technical discussions over drainage and flooding *. (16 Jan)
The project includes providing a new home to the council’s customer contact team which is currently based at Kidderminster Town Hall creating savings of £50,000 each year.
It also includes developing between five and ten new small industrial units for rental which will generate additional income to help support frontline services for all who live, work and visit Wyre Forest.
Councillor Marcus Hart, Leader of Wyre Forest District Council, said “A conditions survey on the state of the building identified infrastructure repairs that would cost half a million pounds alone were needed.
“Our Depot2020 investment programme will not only create efficient and improved facilities for our workforce, it will also allow us to open up the site to other businesses creating a new income stream from the rental of new industrial units.
“The new improved site will also enable us to bring together the Hub team currently in Kidderminster Town Hall and revenues and benefits staff currently at Wyre Forest House, offering an improved service to customers and creating at least £50,000 savings each year.
“I know there has been criticism about moving the Hub a few hundred metres out of the town centre, but we have to be realistic. The number of people visiting the Hub has halved in the last five years. There will be parking facilities for customers at the new centre – which there are not currently at the Hub - and we will be working closely with bus companies to ensure there are adequate bus stops and pedestrian crossings for those visitors coming by bus and on foot.”
The master plan for the new site has been produced by Sjolander da Cruz Architects and project management will be provided by Gleeds.
Once planning permission – certain to a number of conditions - has been granted the council will start a competitive tendering process for the main design and construction work. Work could start on site as early as this summer with a target completion date of autumn 2019.
*Planning conditions relate to approval of materials; ecological enhancements; improving pedestrian access and crossings along the route from the existing bus stops; improving site access; and provision of drainage and flood mitigation.