Councillors prepare to have final say on major Wyre Forest plans

Kidderminster Shuttle: LAST-DITCH PLEA: Councillors Mike Salter, Cliff Brewer, Nigel Thomas and Jim Lawson. 141414MH. LAST-DITCH PLEA: Councillors Mike Salter, Cliff Brewer, Nigel Thomas and Jim Lawson. 141414MH.

DECISIONS on several controversial schemes, including a new Wyre Forest leisure centre, the demolition of Kidderminster’s Crown House and a Tesco Express in Areley Kings, are looming.

The projects have all been recommended for approval by Wyre Forest District Council officers and the authority’s planning committee is set to decide on the applications next Tuesday.

The committee will look at outline plans for a new district leisure centre.

The council wants to build the £10.1 million sports facility at Silverwoods, the former British Sugar site on Stourport Road, after plans to use the Victoria Sports Ground on Spennells Valley Road, were scrapped last year.

Independent Community and Health Concern leader Graham Ballinger said councillors should use the delay to “listen to the people” and abandon the project.

The plans would see Stourport Sports Centre and Kidderminster’s Glades close.

Launching a petition outside the former, he said borrowing money and repaying it over 30 years was “foolish” and current district leisure sites could be refurbished for “a fraction of the cost”.

In a report, planning officer Julia Mellor wrote: “The development would deliver a wide variety of sports facilities, accessible to all, which would be of attraction to a wide cross-section of the residents in the district.”

The committee will also consider the redevelopment of Weavers Wharf, which would include taking down Crown House and buildings on Lower Mill Street.

The project would see the erection of retail stores, canal-side restaurants and cafes, several public realm improvements and bridges over the opened-up River Stour and Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.

A mixed reaction has greeted the plans, with Crown House being called a “mouldy eyesore”, while business owners on Lower Mill Street fear they will not be able to relocate.

Proposals to open a Tesco Express at the Squirrel pub will also be discussed.

Residents cited traffic, parking and noise fears and a 2,000 signature-strong petition has been submitted.

Stourport town councillors recommended the application be refused, although planning officer Paul Round has recommended approval as long as the Highway Authority has no objections.

Comments (1)

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9:51am Thu 3 Apr 14

jon cooper says...

The original offer was for WFDC to let Stourport Town Council run Stourport Sports Centre themselves - which of course means the town's taxpayers.

Since the axing of The Glades and Stourport Sports Centre were announced, things have moved on swiftly. With the possibility of the formation of a Kidderminster Town Council on the horizon, the dynamics of the leisure review have clearly changed; and both on moral and common-sense grounds, this leisure centre decision should be suspended until at least May 2015 to gauge whether its feasable for a potential Kidderminster Town Council to take on the running of either the current Glades or the new leisure centre at Silverwoods purely themselves ...

You simply cannot make a massive decision of scrapping well used leisure facilities lightly anyway, least of all when a possible shift in representation is looming!!
The original offer was for WFDC to let Stourport Town Council run Stourport Sports Centre themselves - which of course means the town's taxpayers. Since the axing of The Glades and Stourport Sports Centre were announced, things have moved on swiftly. With the possibility of the formation of a Kidderminster Town Council on the horizon, the dynamics of the leisure review have clearly changed; and both on moral and common-sense grounds, this leisure centre decision should be suspended until at least May 2015 to gauge whether its feasable for a potential Kidderminster Town Council to take on the running of either the current Glades or the new leisure centre at Silverwoods purely themselves ... You simply cannot make a massive decision of scrapping well used leisure facilities lightly anyway, least of all when a possible shift in representation is looming!! jon cooper
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