Kidderminster Harriers could seek permission to build a new stadium with training and educational facilities in Stourport Road, potentially freeing up the council-owned Aggborough site for residential development.
The club submitted the tentative proposals as part of Wyre Forest District Council’s eight-week review of its Local Plan that will guide future development of the district between 2016 and 2034.
During this period approximately 6,000 new homes will need to be built to meet the demands of a growing population. The council has put forward various options – as well as asking the public to suggest other sites – for where that development should take place.
The club submitted proposals, as part of the review of the Local Plan Preferred Options document, to develop land near the Centre of Sporting Excellence where its first and Academy teams currently train on the Stourport Road corridor that would free up land for new homes at Aggborough.
Wyre Forest District Council owns the freehold of the land at Aggborough, and there are 28 years left to run on the lease with the football club.
Leader of Wyre Forest District Council Councillor Marcus Hart said: “We can confirm that we have received a submission from Kidderminster Harriers, which we will be considering along with all other suggestions and responses made during the public consultation. The proposed site of the new stadium is currently designated as greenbelt and these policy implications will need to be worked through in the normal way.
“These proposals could potentially release much needed land for new homes, although a full assessment of the club’s submission must be completed before proposals can be taken further and will need to be carefully considered in the same way as all other proposals regarding parcels of land submitted as part of the Local Plan consultation. We cannot pre-determine any decisions regarding the preferred options consultation at this stage. Any eventual development would be subject to the normal planning process and in no way would we wish to pre-determine any future planning application.”
Once all feedback from this initial consultation has been considered the council will progress to the next ‘Pre-Submission’ stage at which point there will be another public consultation before the plan is submitted to the Secretary of State for final approval, in 2019/2020. Further details are contained in the Project Plan.
The Secretary of State will then appoint a Planning Inspector to undertake an Examination in Public (EIP) of the Local Plan and will decide if the plan can become adopted or not.
Councillor Ian Hardiman, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Regeneration said: “We were very pleased that so many people responded to the public consultation. Now the consultation has ended our officers will be carefully assessing all comments, suggestions and proposals put forward, including this submission from the Harriers.”
More information about the Local Plan is available at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk/localplanreview
The Preferred Options Consultation is part of the process all councils have to follow to eventually adopt a new Local Plan. Wyre Forest’s current plan was adopted in 2013. The new Local Plan which should be adopted by 2020 will guide future development between then and 2034.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is the document published by the Government setting out the national policies to guide the delivery of sustainable development and is the framework that councils must follow to ensure that they are able to adopt their Local Plans. The Local Plan needs to look ahead for a period usually of at least 15 years.