Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet is to discuss a report proposing that it use its compulsory purchase powers to accelerate its regeneration plans for Kidderminster.
When it next meets on Tuesday 22 July the Cabinet will consider the report from the Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning & Regeneration, Councillor John Campion. It explains that there are ongoing negotiations with the owners of properties in Lower Mill Street and that the Council will resort to using its compulsory purchase powers if those negotiations are unproductive.
The report proposes that the Council agree to use its powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, if necessary, to complete the land assembly of 2-12 Lower Mill Street in Kidderminster. The land is required to enable the redevelopment of the Crown House and Bullring area and northern area of the Weavers Wharf Retail Park.
The owners of the Weavers Wharf Retail Park, Henderson UK Retail Warehouse Fund, obtained planning permission for the redevelopment of the land from the district council in April 2014. They have been in negotiations with the owners of the Lower Mill Street properties for some months to acquire their interests; Councillor Campion’s report advises that Henderson remains committed to acquiring the properties by private negotiation, but if that doesn’t progress quickly enough the Council will consider stepping in to assist by compulsorily purchasing the properties and passing them on to Henderson.
Councillor Campion said:
“The Council’s plans to regenerate this part of the town by demolishing Crown House have been well publicised and are widely supported; we’ve been very pleased to be working with Henderson to tie our plans in with theirs for the entrance to Weavers Wharf as this comprehensive redevelopment will be a real boost for Kidderminster. We have exciting times ahead for Kidderminster including our £2m public realm improvements and we want to make sure we deliver all the plans we have so that Kidderminster becomes a real destination of choice for visitors.”
“We recognise the concerns of the landowners in Lower Mill Street and are pleased with the ongoing negotiations that Henderson is having with them in good faith. The Council rarely resorts to compulsory purchase powers and doesn’t consider such action lightly and we hope that we won’t need to utilise them in Lower Mill Street, but we can’t allow discussions to continue indefinitely without a positive conclusion. We want to make sure that the businesses in Lower Mill Street are supported with their future plans and that they can be accommodated elsewhere in Kidderminster if that is their wish, but we are also committed to delivering our regeneration plans.”
The Cabinet meeting will take place on 22nd July at 6.00pm in Wyre Forest House. It will be webcast live and can be viewed from the Council’s website www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk