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The next steps in the development of the Crown House site in Kidderminster are being discussed next month as the council sets out its plans for the area after the demolition works.

Once the site is cleared, the council is proposing to open a temporary car park there. It has submitted a planning application, which is due to be considered at the Planning Committee on Tuesday 10 December. Work is required to make sure the site is safe for a car park. This will be discussed at the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 5 December.

In the longer term the council is looking to redevelop the site and the Bullring as a gateway to the town. The council is developing proposals as part of its submission to Government for funding from the Future High Streets Fund Initiative. In July the authority was successful in applying for the first round of funding. This has enabled it to prepare a full business case submission for funds to address the Crown House site, Bromsgrove Street car park area and the Former Magistrates’ Court and indoor market on Worcester Street. The business case has to be submitted in April 2020 and the council expects to hear the outcome by autumn 2020.

The demolition of Crown House began in the summer and it is expected to be completed in Spring 2020. It is an immensely complex process because the building is built on a culvert over the River Stour and like many buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s it contains asbestos.

Mike Parker, Corporate Director for Economic Prosperity and Place said:

“We are very pleased with the progress the tenant’s contractor is making with the demolition of Crown House. The contractor is observing all health and safety obligations to make sure the building is brought down safely.  Any asbestos they find is carefully removed with safety for their workers and the public  being paramount. It is a painstaking process, but nevertheless necessary. The council is looking forward to completion of the works so that we can put in place plans for the immediate future use of the site.”