Work is underway on the large-scale rejuvenation of Kingshurst village centre that will see up to 78 new homes built and a new lease of life given to the area.
Solihull Council has said early works that began this year are on track, with most of the major works package to start next year. The major revamp of Kingshurst village centre won planning approval in April 2022 and, subject to a number of factors, will be completed by 2026. The project is expected to create up to 90 new jobs and stimulate socio-economic growth in the area.
The Local Democracy Reporting Service headed out to Kingshurst to see how things are looking. Solihull council has also provided an update on progress.
What does the village look like at the moment?
Many shops and services in the retail area of the village, such as a butchers, a fruit and veg shop, and Kingshurst Arts Space, were boarded up. Shops that were open included Brown’s Pharmacy, which has opened a new shop opposite its former site, and a Greggs.
A Co-op convenience store was also open at the far end of the retail area, officially known as The Parade, but is moving down the road to the site of the old Kingshurst Youth & Community Centre from September 15. A hairdressing shop also won planning permission to use the community centre back in early May 2022.
Demolition work on the old Kingshurst Clinic, at the rear of the disused Community Centre, is ongoing. A number of garages have also been demolished as a part of site clearance.
The village centre in its current state cuts a pretty sorry sight, but new hoarding has been put up around the site of the former Mountfort pub site that shows impressive CGI images of what the area will look like once work is completed. It also displays information for the public on all the features of the Kingshurst Masterplan.
A few of these features include 78 new homes, some of which will be built on top of the Mountfort site, and a new vicarage for St Barnabas Church. There will also be a new health and wellbeing hub, fitted with a GP, pharmacy, dentist, library service and community café.
The new homes will be a mixture of sizes; 12 one-bed maisonettes, 5 two-bed houses, 45 three-bed houses, and 16 four-bed houses. Many will have their own garden and private driveway.
Was has the council said?
The council said in April it has plans to deliver ‘at least 40 per cent’ affordable housing but aspires to deliver ‘up to 100 per cent’ within the scheme.
One of the main new additions of the Masterplan will be the refurbished retail space including an anchor convenience store. Solihull council said that an agreement has been signed with independent construction and property services company Willmott Dixon to carry out the final stages of detailed designs.
The council said: “We have already managed to successfully reintroduce a number of key businesses and services, including the opticians and pharmacy, to ensure they can remain open and accessible during the development. We are continuing this work with local stakeholders on this and are reaching a settled position with regard to reintroducing an anchor convenience store on The Parade. We were able to work closely with the business operator at Browns Pharmacy to reintroduce the post office last October, ensuring residents once again have access to this vital service.”
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