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26th Jun, 2022

Full steam ahead for £100m Shrub Hill revamp

Worcester Editorial 24th Sep, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

ONE of Worcester’s biggest ever regeneration projects which could create a ‘gateway to the city’ has been given the go-ahead.

Councillors voted in favour of the £100million development, which is set to breathe new life into the area surrounding Worcester Shrub Hill Station, at a meeting of Worcester City Council’s planning committee last Thursday (September 19).

Phase one of the scheme received members’ backing and will see the creation of a 597 space multi-storey car park, 131 new one and two bed apartments, food outlet and retail space, while the committee also gave outline permission to the rest of the proposals, which includes the hotel and care home.

Coun Derek Prodger was one of a number of councillors to support Sherriff’s Gate Limited’s scheme as he insisted the city was “crying out” for a development like it.

“This site used to be a dump as it was full of railway trucks and wagons,” Coun Prodger said. “I don’t think we will have another opportunity for a regeneration of this importance in this location.”

Coun Robert Rowden said it would bring prosperity and jobs to Worcester, while Coun Aubrey Tarbuck added: “This is an exciting time as it will bring a new dynamic to Worcester and it will lift the economy.”

But fears were raised by some members over the potential impact on traffic as Coun Pat Agar, councillor for the area, said it was already a congested part of the city.

Coun Alan Amos added: “I have no objection to the development and regeneration of the area as it will bring economic activity.

“But what is going to happen with the traffic? If we don’t address it people will look at us and say ‘why the hell didn’t you deal with it when you were dealing with this application’?”

However, Bob Pender, from Worcestershire County Council’s highways department, said the developer will contribute £350,000 towards increasing the number of buses serving the site, while also offering money to improve surrounding roads in a bid to alleviate some of the potential congestion problems.

As part of the proposals the junction of Newtown Road, Sherriff’s Street and Williamson Road will be expanded, but Mr Pender said there were no plans in place to make changes to the railway bridge.

“It is clear transport will play a crucial role,” he said. ” It would be great to widen the bridge and the carriageway. But the logistics and the sheer cost of that exercise is enormous.

“Frankly, we have got to make it work.”

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