New 'urban village' development plans in Solihull is now in the "early design phase"

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Solihull Council has provided an updated statement on new Solihull ‘village’ plans and its gaining momentum

Momentum is gathering for Solihull Council’s ambitious plan to turn the town’s Mell Square shopping centre into an urban village.

The plans, which include new bars, shops and restaurants, were originally revealed last year. 

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Now Solihull Council has said the scheme has reached an “early design phase” with the aim for the first step of the development to begin in autumn 2025.

The wholesale transformation of Mell Square over the next 10 years includes a “significantly improved retail offer, expanded night-time economy and new high-quality housing.”

What will the redevelopment focus on?

The authority has said the redevelopment will focus on:

Attracting new restaurants, bars and retailers alongside the town centre’s existing offer and diversify its night-time economy.

Well-designed, flexible public spaces and routes that better connect Mell Square to the wider town centre and become a hive of activity for business, meeting and relaxing.

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Creating a mixed residential neighbourhood to increase housing choice for existing communities and attract new residents, including younger people to Solihull.

Building high-quality, sustainable buildings that set the standard for new developments in the town centre.

CGI concept design for a redeveloped Mell Square in Solihull town centreCGI concept design for a redeveloped Mell Square in Solihull town centre
CGI concept design for a redeveloped Mell Square in Solihull town centre

What is the current status of the redevelopment project for Mell Square?

Solihull Council originally paid just under £35 million to take control of Mell Square Ltd in April 2021. That followed the authority having a £72 million bid rejected 18 months earlier.

The authority named developers Muse as their preferred partner for the major project and previously said it was seeking to enter into an agreement with them.

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In a new statement the council said that agreement is still yet to be reached.

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “In October the council announced the appointment of Muse Places Ltd as our preferred development partner to help us realise an exciting new vision for Mell Square.

 “We are currently in the early design phase of this ambitious project, and continue to work closely with Muse prior to signing a development agreement in the coming months.

 “Last month Muse delivered a programme of early public engagement on our behalf during the Solihull Business Festival. Muse has begun gathering the views of people who live in, work in and visit Mell Square, and this information is now being used to inform the next stage of master planning. 

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“There will be more opportunities for people to have their say and feed into this process later in the year.

 “We anticipate that preparation for an outline planning application will begin towards the end of the year. Following public consultation, and subject to planning, the first phase of development could begin as soon as autumn 2025.”

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