Homes go-ahead may be the end for Kidderminster firms

Kidderminster Shuttle: BUSINESS CONCERN: AJ’s Diner co-owner Mary Poulton says she does not know what will happen to her 24-year-old thriving business. Picture: Phil Loach. 061433L. BUSINESS CONCERN: AJ’s Diner co-owner Mary Poulton says she does not know what will happen to her 24-year-old thriving business. Picture: Phil Loach. 061433L.

ANGRY Kidderminster business owners say they will be forced to relocate or even close if plans to build 31 homes are given the go-ahead.

Wyre Forest District Council officers say the businesses' fate is not a planning matter but owners are nervously awaiting a decision by planning committee councillors at a meeting next Tuesday on whether to give UK Construction and Wyre Forest Community Housing permission to build affordable homes at the Harriers Industrial Estate, Stadium Close.

Existing industrial units, which house about eight to 10 businesses, would be demolished and replaced by houses and an apartment block and a new access road would be created from Ray Mercer Way. The plans are recommended for approval, subject to planning conditions, and a £6,200 "open space contribution" being met.

Tina Brooke, co-owner of AJ's Diner, said: "So what happens now? What help will we get? Most people would look to relocate with the right help [from the applicants, landowner or council]. They need to help people with their jobs as well as helping people to live in houses.

"This is quite an industrial area and needs to be kept as an industrial estate."

The diner's other owner, Mary Poulton, added: "Our locals have been coming here for 24 years, so they are all upset. We are angry we have not been told what is happening."

A spokesman for NMS Removals said: "I am not happy about the way this has gone down - we should have been given more notice. It is an inconvenience to us because now we have to find somewhere to go. We have got other premises but we need one in Kidderminster. We have been here for about 20 years and this is a shock.

In the report which will be put before the committee, planning officer Emma Anning said concerns were "not a material planning consideration". "As it is a contractual matter between the landowner and their tenants, it cannot be afforded any weight in the application's determination," she added.

"Were the application to be approved, council economic development and regeneration officers could be called upon to assist any business in finding alternative accommodation."

A council spokeswoman said those officers could help businesses looking for premises and added grants might be available to eligible businesses, which could call 0845 6015953 or email info@nwedr.org.uk for information.

Greenhill ward Independent Community and Health Concern councillor Graham Ballinger said: "I can see the point about needing housing - well then let's have some more in the town centre in all these empty spaces above the empty shops, instead of replacing successful businesses."

Comments (12)

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10:59am Thu 6 Feb 14

barney10001 says...

Once again the needs of the freeloaders and immigrants are put in front of the needs of those prepared to make a living for themselves.
Once again the needs of the freeloaders and immigrants are put in front of the needs of those prepared to make a living for themselves. barney10001

11:10am Thu 6 Feb 14

the batshake says...

This has to be one of either the most incompetent or corrupt councils in the country.
This has to be one of either the most incompetent or corrupt councils in the country. the batshake

12:50pm Thu 6 Feb 14

gypsyman1 says...

kiddy needs new houses, where else can they be built,
kiddy needs new houses, where else can they be built, gypsyman1

1:26pm Thu 6 Feb 14

Fran says...

A landowner is perfectly entitled to put in a Planning Application as is a Developer. The land in question is zoned for possible housing use.
The Council has business units available plus grants are available.
As a Community Housing Board member I cannot take part in the Planning Committee.
A landowner is perfectly entitled to put in a Planning Application as is a Developer. The land in question is zoned for possible housing use. The Council has business units available plus grants are available. As a Community Housing Board member I cannot take part in the Planning Committee. Fran

5:15pm Thu 6 Feb 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

The reality is the council is supposed to represent the people, but spends most its time telling the people what they should do, choosing to selectively listen. How dare councillors casually tell people to just shift their livelihood to another part of town ? Clear signs of power and authority out of control in the interests of the few. Genuine consultations reflecting real engagement and grasp of sustainable healthy transitions is required. Short term championing for political interests is helping only those that have the power and authority.
Weekly public disclosure of the community disconnect clearly demonstrates how safeguarding futures beyond a privileged minority is presently the only agenda. Recycled, reduced and reused policies that fail to recognise the realities that the whole community are living with. The new council HQ being an example of how they fail to keep their own house in order. Though possible plans to recycle hot air may have been optimistic.
The reality is the council is supposed to represent the people, but spends most its time telling the people what they should do, choosing to selectively listen. How dare councillors casually tell people to just shift their livelihood to another part of town ? Clear signs of power and authority out of control in the interests of the few. Genuine consultations reflecting real engagement and grasp of sustainable healthy transitions is required. Short term championing for political interests is helping only those that have the power and authority. Weekly public disclosure of the community disconnect clearly demonstrates how safeguarding futures beyond a privileged minority is presently the only agenda. Recycled, reduced and reused policies that fail to recognise the realities that the whole community are living with. The new council HQ being an example of how they fail to keep their own house in order. Though possible plans to recycle hot air may have been optimistic. DOEPUBLIC

11:57am Fri 7 Feb 14

Primrose Coley says...

Wyre Forest District Council officers are quoted as saying, the businesses' fate is not a planning matter. Is this the same Council which trumpets how hard it is trying to attract more businesses into Kidderminster as a whole. Do not the affected businesses pay business tax into the District Council's ever hungry coffers?
Wyre Forest District Council officers are quoted as saying, the businesses' fate is not a planning matter. Is this the same Council which trumpets how hard it is trying to attract more businesses into Kidderminster as a whole. Do not the affected businesses pay business tax into the District Council's ever hungry coffers? Primrose Coley

12:20pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Primrose Coley says...

More homes, more council tax yes, but, an ever shrinking infrastructure to go with it. A Community consists of much more than affordable housing. It needs balance, a good mix of homes, businesses providing local jobs , leisure facilities and green spaces and above all, a District Council which listens to the community it represents. Every councillor is answerable to the electorate, not to his/her own political beliefs. A councillor whatever their persuasion, is only as good as his/her true intentions.
More homes, more council tax yes, but, an ever shrinking infrastructure to go with it. A Community consists of much more than affordable housing. It needs balance, a good mix of homes, businesses providing local jobs , leisure facilities and green spaces and above all, a District Council which listens to the community it represents. Every councillor is answerable to the electorate, not to his/her own political beliefs. A councillor whatever their persuasion, is only as good as his/her true intentions. Primrose Coley

4:54pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Mr.Fie says...

the batshake wrote:
This has to be one of either the most incompetent or corrupt councils in the country.
Id say its not just either, its probably all of the above :D
[quote][p][bold]the batshake[/bold] wrote: This has to be one of either the most incompetent or corrupt councils in the country.[/p][/quote]Id say its not just either, its probably all of the above :D Mr.Fie

8:48pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Stephen Brown says...

I fail to see how the fate of local businesses cannot be a concern for the council, let alone not be a planning matter. The economic vitality of our area concerns us all. The council has a whole raft of policies designed to attract, create, generate and keep business, mostly ignored it seems when it suits. Running a business is hard enough and forcing them to up sticks is hardly going to help them is it? No wonder people think we are governed by fools.
I fail to see how the fate of local businesses cannot be a concern for the council, let alone not be a planning matter. The economic vitality of our area concerns us all. The council has a whole raft of policies designed to attract, create, generate and keep business, mostly ignored it seems when it suits. Running a business is hard enough and forcing them to up sticks is hardly going to help them is it? No wonder people think we are governed by fools. Stephen Brown

12:32pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Teabag12 says...

Shame on the council and the landowners. This is a fab diner which has worked hard to establish themselves. They are known and loved by the locals. If they move then there is a whole new customer base to establish so in theory setting up from scratch again. If it's not broke DONT FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!
Shame on the council and the landowners. This is a fab diner which has worked hard to establish themselves. They are known and loved by the locals. If they move then there is a whole new customer base to establish so in theory setting up from scratch again. If it's not broke DONT FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!! Teabag12

8:57am Mon 10 Feb 14

davewal says...

Another pointless debate about the council and all the conspiracy theories crawl out the woodwork. The private land owner would like to sell their land. The town has plenty of units empty. If I was the council I would approve the planning change of use and offer the businesses suitable empty WFDC units for the same rent and rates they are paying now. The businesses get newer units, the council get paid, and the town loses the empty units for ones with businesses in them. If they don't approve it who says the owner wont sell up and the new owners won't kick everyone out anyway. It is not the council who are responsible for the private land owners choices. Perhaps they should be more pro active in communicating with the businesses but we only have one side of the story. I for one would be more likely to go to AJ's if it was nearer town.
On another note Stephen Brown jumping on the councils back again. I wonder if in the unlikely event he ever gets elected that this comments will proceed to be so negative? Call me a cynic but he's either trying to gain votes or he has no idea what he's talking about. I think its clear he will never be appropriate to sit on the council as he never understands the whole picture. The majority of the electorate aren't as moronic as you think Stephen.
Another pointless debate about the council and all the conspiracy theories crawl out the woodwork. The private land owner would like to sell their land. The town has plenty of units empty. If I was the council I would approve the planning change of use and offer the businesses suitable empty WFDC units for the same rent and rates they are paying now. The businesses get newer units, the council get paid, and the town loses the empty units for ones with businesses in them. If they don't approve it who says the owner wont sell up and the new owners won't kick everyone out anyway. It is not the council who are responsible for the private land owners choices. Perhaps they should be more pro active in communicating with the businesses but we only have one side of the story. I for one would be more likely to go to AJ's if it was nearer town. On another note Stephen Brown jumping on the councils back again. I wonder if in the unlikely event he ever gets elected that this comments will proceed to be so negative? Call me a cynic but he's either trying to gain votes or he has no idea what he's talking about. I think its clear he will never be appropriate to sit on the council as he never understands the whole picture. The majority of the electorate aren't as moronic as you think Stephen. davewal

12:49pm Mon 10 Feb 14

Bcfc1186 says...

As usual, Davewal is one of the few people to display some common sense!
As usual, Davewal is one of the few people to display some common sense! Bcfc1186

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