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Transformation of market hall site could move a step closer
TRANSFORMATION: Artists impressions have previously been released showing how Bromsgrove's former market hall site could be developed. SP
THE proposed multi-million pound transformation of Bromsgrove’s former market hall site could move a step closer when the ambitious scheme is considered by senior councillors next week.
In 2012 the Advertiser reported that a preferred bidder had been chosen for the site between Hanover Street, St John Street and Market Place, including George House.
The site was proposed to become a cinema with high quality retail and restaurant units, while it was suggested Spadesbourne Brook, running through the site, could be opened up as part of the development.
Artists impressions of how the site could look were also released, showing George House replaced with a futuristic looking building.
At the time the authority announced a detailed planning application would be submitted in January 2013, but this failed to materialise.
No official announcements have since been made, but the site was mentioned in the authority's parking review last year that stated the authority's discussions with a developer had reached an "advanced stage".
At the next meeting of Bromsgrove District Council's cabinet, being held on Thursday, March 27, the scheme will be discussed.
The officer's report to cabinet members reveals there have been changes made to the original proposals. The report says it was not possible for the developer to conclude negotiations with the original anchor tenant, so a new scheme has been drawn up providing for an alternative retail anchor tenant.
The council remain tight-lipped on who this tenant is.
The authority say the change in tenant has led to the inclusion in the plans for a small food retail unit in the Hanover Street Car Park.
The plan is now for Spadesbourne Brook to be kept in its current location but with landscaped and naturalised areas, while there would be a reduction in the size of the retail anchor tenant's space.
It is also proposed the Hanover Street 135-space car park would remain in the authority's ownership.
The officer's report stresses there has been "no change" to the proposal for the scheme to include a multi-screen cinema.
At the meeting members will be voting on the officer's recommendations, including re-affirming the agreement to the leasing of the land to developers Opus Land.
There is no mention of when a planning application for the site could be submitted, although the officer's report does say the retail anchor's store is earmarked for a June 2015 opening.
It is estimated that once fully operational the site could create 200 to 300 jobs.
Bromsgrove District Council leader Roger Hollingworth reiterated that he hoped those who criticised the demolition of the market hall in 2010, would see the bigger picture with the proposed transformation of the site.
"We are making progress with it," Coun Hollingworth said.
"I want to make sure that the loose ends are tied up so that when it is ready to go, it has already been agreed."
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