Solihull Council has voted to adopt an amended Masterplan which could see the delivery of nearly 1,200 homes and bring more than 4,000 new jobs to the town centre.
Following consultation and research, the masterplan identifies various opportunities to modernise and diversify the current leisure and ‘experience’ offer.
Delivery of the new Masterplan in full would see 1,178 new homes built, along with the potential provision of up to 50,000 sq m of office space and 40,000 sq m retail, leisure and active ground floor space in the town centre.
Key features of the Masterplan include:
- Redevelopment of Solihull Station and the green space surrounding the station
- Traffic management interventions and enhancements to the public realm around Blossomfield Road Roundabout, including improvements to the pedestrian and cycle connectivity between the town centre and the station.
- Grade A town centre office development at Westgate
- A new civic and community hub on the Council-owned Eastgate site. This development will also include a new residential neighbourhood to increase the town centre’s residential population.
- Guidance on the possible future redevelopment of Mell Square to create a high quality mixed use space.
- A new north-south pedestrian and cycle link between the southern gateway of the town including the Monkspath Hall Road site, and the Business and Commercial Quarter and the core of the town centre.
- Potential new car parking located on Monkspath Hall Road to support the wider use of this site that could accommodate a range of development uses including housing, commercial, leisure or education.
An earlier Masterplan was drawn up in 2016 informed by a range of visioning studies, property market reviews and extensive stakeholder engagement and consultation activity.
The latest refresh builds on this work but has been updated over the summer to respond to recent strategic decisions; local, regional and national policy and best practice; land and property development that have occurred in the intervening four years; and current economic conditions including the impact of COVID-19.
Cllr Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council and Cabinet Member for the Economy said:
“Our bold and visionary Town Centre Masterplan sets out an ambitious blueprint for the next fifteen years. By taking a wider view of upcoming developments and investment opportunities we can ensure that we are effectively planning for the future of our town centre ensuring that we deliver managed economic growth while aligning this growth to other key strategic objectives, such as our climate change goals of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2041.
“There are significant challenges facing all sectors of the economy at this time but our Town Centre Masterplan sets out a roadmap for the continued prosperity of the town centre, helping attract future inward investment and build on Solihull’s position as a key regional wealth creator.
“Solihull Town Centre benefits from a proven track record of attracting international occupiers and investment, supporting a strong commercial and residential market. The Council is determined to support our retail and commercial centres by being an active partner in their future. This is more important than ever in the current climate as all sectors plan their reset and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We know that key factors such as its economic dynamism, well-balanced sector profile, and highly-qualified workforce mean that Solihull Town Centre is well placed to lead in this recovery. That is why we are prioritising bold and exciting town centre developments such as Eastgate, which are about looking ahead and planting the seeds for our future prosperity.”
Cllr Courts will be discussing the Town Centre Masterplan, along with a range of other upcoming projects, with an audience of investors at the Midlands UK Forum for Growth virtual event later this month.
Detailed consultation will be undertaken on individual development sites and infrastructure projects as they come forward.