Parkside plans gather pace

PLANS to turn a former town school into a one-stop shop of council services are progressing well.

A planning application is expected to be submitted within weeks to turn the former Parkside Middle School, Stourbridge Road, into a council hub including a new library, council offices, a district council chamber, customer service centre, community hall and a registry office.

The development is to be discussed by leading councillors at tonight’s cabinet meeting, (February 6).

Councillors are to discuss an increase of £130,000 in the capital programme, which would be paid to Worcestershire County Council to acquire a 50 per cent interest in the site.

The cabinet are also set to discuss the splitting of the re-development costs, expected to be £6.9 million, equally.

Bromsgrove District Council leader Roger Hollingworth said plans for the major project, one of the key parts of the town’s regeneration programme, were progressing well.

“It is now moving ahead,” he said.

“This is an excellent project and we are still on track to move into the building in summer 2014.”

Meanwhile, preparatory works to improve traffic flow at the nearby Parkside crossroads - the Birmingham Road, Stourbridge Road and Market Street junction - have got underway this week.

Expected to finish on Friday, the work includes the laying of pipes and infrastructure ready for the future installation of intelligent traffic lights.

The work will enable the pelican crossing at the bottom of Stratford Road, near The Strand, to be synchronised with the traffic lights at the Parkside crossroads.

Coun Hollingworth added: “This is not a glamorous piece of work but it is an important piece in the jigsaw of the regeneration of the town centre.

“While there will be a couple of days disruption to drivers, the eventual benefits from the improved flow of traffic will be worth it so please bear with us.”

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