A key gateway into Kidderminster looks set to get a make over. Wyre Forest District Council says it is prepared to use its compulsory purchase powers if necessary to tidy up the former British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop fronting Market Street in Kidderminster.
The site, together with the adjoining former Levines retail unit, was burnt down in 2011. It has remained vacant ever since.
There are ongoing discussions between the council and Kidderminster College which now owns the former Levines unit about its future, but as yet no proposals have come forward from the owner of the former BHF site.
Councillor Ian Hardiman, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration said: “I’m pleased that action by the council has now prompted a positive dialogue with the landowner of the former British Heart Foundation site and very much hope that he can bring forward its redevelopment. We want to make sure that the landowner continues with his commitment and for that reason I’m asking the Cabinet to authorise the use of compulsory purchase if the site is not redeveloped.
“We think that it is reasonable to expect the owner to have obtained planning permission and begun work on site within an 18 month period, but if he doesn’t then the council is prepared to begin action to acquire the site ourselves. This is a key gateway into the town and it cannot be allowed to remain the eyesore that it has been for the last few years.”
The report to Cabinet proposes that the owner be given 6 months to make a planning application for the development of the site and then a further 12 months to begin work on site. If either deadline is missed the council will begin to acquire the site and use compulsory purchase if necessary.
The matter is due to be discussed by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 5 July before a final decision is made by Cabinet on Tuesday 17 July. The Cabinet meeting will begin at 6pm. It will be webcast and can be viewed at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk