A CINEMA and restaurants must be part of plans to renovate Bromsgrove town centre's derelict Market Hall site, insists a frustrated councillor.

Bromsgrove District Council plans to use pop-up bars and studios to revamp the site, as the Advertiser revealed recently.

Councillor Peter McDonald wants better facilities for the vicinity but Bromsgrove District Council insists the plans in place are an 'exciting opportunity'.

Cllr McDonald said: “Time and time again Bromsgrove’s public have been given promises of a cinema, restaurants and a drive through on the Market Hall site since the demolition some ten years ago.

"The Council has had ten years to deliver those promises but they have never materialised. Instead we have had a Council that has thrown good money after bad on three developers.

"In that time the people of Bromsgrove have lost revenue from a Market Hall that was only 15 years old and cost £500,000 to build, spent £25,000 on its demolition and £500,000 in acquiring George House, as it was argued it was required to make the site viable.

"The cost of security and loss of income from the car park that adjoined the Market Hall: all in all over ten years it has cost the people of Bromsgrove in excess of £2m.

"But lessons have not been learned with the Council trying a fourth time, by proposing to spend between £200,000 and £300,000 on the site so it can be used by pop-ups while they look for another developer for the site.

"To make a mistake once can happen to make the same mistake twice is incompetence and a third time gross incompetence, to attempt a fourth time is a sign of insanity.

"That is why we will be calling upon the controlling group at the full council to make the pop-ups a permanent feature and not pour anymore of council tax payers money down the drain in obtaining a further developer.”

Cllr Karen May, Leader of Bromsgrove District Council, replied: “I'm glad Bird Box has the councillor’s backing.

"It is an exciting opportunity while the right development continues to be sought for that site.

“People won’t have forgotten that in fact, the loss-making old market hall was replaced with a bigger High Street market and a Waitrose, plus this remaining development opportunity, as part of the massive town centre regeneration plan.

"It’s important not to miss the wood for looking at the trees, and that plan brought in well over £100m of new investment into a better Bromsgrove, transforming formerly derelict areas and helping to creating the conditions for our local economy to flourish.”