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.