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13 November 2014

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You are in: Black Country > Features > More features > Stourbridge redevelopment: delayed

How the ring road may look

How the ring road may look

Stourbridge redevelopment: delayed

Work on the long-awaited £50 million regeneration of Stourbridge town centre will not start until early 2010.

Join the 'Stourbridge debate' at the bottom of this page.

The project - which has been in the pipeline for more than two years - will see a drastic overhaul of the ailing Crown Centre.

Plans include: a 70,000 square foot Tesco superstore, a new market hall, more retail outlets, an improved car park and a 120 bed hotel.

The scheme was originally approved by councillors in March 2008 and work was expected to begin in early 2009.

Artist's impression of how the ring road may look

How the ring road may look

Now property developers Modus are aiming for a construction start date sometime in early 2010.

Stourbridge councillor Les Jones, former Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, said:

"Modus have made a business decision to delay starting work on the redevelopment which I think is both responsible and unfortunate.

"I would love nothing more than to see Stourbridge revitalised tomorrow and am disappointed but you have to be practical and realistic. There are still some political hoops to jump through."

Peter Macfarlane, Modus investment director, said: "On a project  of this scale there are a lot of details. We have now got government approval and are waiting to exchange contracts. It does take time for a project of this scale."

Modus were concerned that particularly disruptive stages of the redevelopment could clash with the run up to Christmas 2009. Modus claim that delaying the start date will prevent this.

The news comes just weeks after Dudley's development control committee approved construction of budget hotel as part of the revamp - instead of the previously planned apartment block containing 75 modern flats.

Artist's impression of how the ring road may look

How the ring road may look

"I actually think it is a better plan to have a hotel there instead of flats," said Cllr. Jones. "It will attract people to Stourbridge with spending power who will then contribute to the local economy.

"The news is disappointing but it is not fair to criticise Modus for this decision. Given the current economic climate they are still the only developers willing to put £50 million into Stourbridge.

"In these days of recession we must all support Stourbridge town centre above all and not look to Merry Hill or elsewhere to shop."

The photos in this page are artist's impressions of what the redevelopment may look like.

Join the 'Stourbridge debate' by adding your thoughts in the box below:

last updated: 28/01/2009 at 11:12
created: 15/02/2007

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

N. Edmonds
What a Disgusting design for a Market town like Stourbridge! with all it's History you would think the Developers & the council would of been a little more sensitive to the local Heritage and stunning Architecture that this town has, after all it is a Market town not a City Centre!

Chris Armfield
Sorry Les Jones, but you & Malcolm Knowles who happen to be cabinet members for Regeneration should know better ! Stourbridge had a great History & Architectural Heritage until people like you allowed many of them to fall into dissrepare & then be demolished , to make way for developers to move in & Scar the town even more with unsympathetic Abominations to grace our Market town of Stourbridge. You only have to look at Cradley Heath with it's destruction of a Black Country Community & Cultural Heritage , now it is a Monster Tesco & Car park ,are these our new Cathederals for future generations ? The New Crown Centre design is not in keeping with the towns Historic & cultural Heritage also if we had a true Democratic Vote by the people who live & work in Stourbridge they would never have let you pass this Abomination of a so called Shopping Centre. here is a better idea for the New Crown Centre , the frontage in the town centre should be designed in line with surrounding Architectural Heritage also our Community has been lacking in a wide range of Entertainment for all age groups , so why not have a Cinema in the New Crown Centre & if Tesco keep draging there heels get Asda or another Superstore interested ,it makes sence after all this wasted time & the town & it's people are still suffering !

Joyce Boaler
Something certainly needs to be done, but the proposed design is ugly. A hotel is a must, and a carpark in the center of the town is essential. I have difficulty walking and find getting into the middle of the town impossible. The current ring-road is visitor unfriendly, frustrating motorists and potential shoppers alike. Hagley is much more inviting,a central carpark, flat walking , small attractive shops, and easy access in and out of the village. The same is true of Kingswinford , although heavy traffic makes it less desirable.

Stourbridge was a town that had interesting and diverse shops which set it apart from other towns in the area as a unique place to visit. With the rise of the theme pubs in the area (which have destroyed the older more traditional pubs in the area)there has been an increase in money coming into stourbridge by a night time crowd, but little development has been seen in the town for people who visit in the daytime. This has led to an increase in the number of charity shops in the area and the town could benefit from regeneration of the town centre. I do not see how a large supermarket and the loss of public amenities will improve the towns image. If people want a huge tesco they can easily travel to cradley heath and visit the mega structure that is there. What Stourbridge needs is a return to more individual and interesting shopping which will make the town an interesting place to visit but unfortunately large chain stores can afford huge rent payments and also have the ability to sway local councils, who will be more than happy to accept money for redevelopment and the regular rent payments from someone like tesco, while not looking past the next few years where the town will inevitably suffer and drive more people toi merry hill or cradley heath.

Grumbler of Dudley
The development looks fine in itself - but not in a setting that includes ancient buildings. It simply doesn't sit well with the general look of the town centre.

In the late 90's I was a student at King Edwards College on the lower high street, opposite the Crown Centre. I remember Stourbridge to be quite a prosperous, interesting and fun place to be. There were loads of unique shops and pubs, Stourbridge was a great place to socialise. I have been living down near London for the past 5 years, but when I come back home I'm sad to see Stourbridge going down the pan. I don't think a glossy building will do a great deal to help Stourbridge out. I guess an inititive by the local government to get rid of those terrible bars would help a lot.

Simon Holden
By 2010 will there be any shops left?

Steve Hathaway
I've been a Stourbridge resident all my life and have to say that the current condition of the town is desolate and depressing. If all the chairty shops move out there would be NOTHING there. I appreciate Cllr. Jones' comments that we shouldn't knock Modus as they are the only company pledging to put money into Stourbridge. The problem is with every passing week I'm becoming mroe and more sceptical that this renovation will ever happen, especially in light of the current economic climate. If I were Modus, I'd be questioning my decision. Why put £50 million into the town? Why would you want to invest in a shiop that cannot be repaired? As for Jones' thought on a hotel being better than flats - why would ANYONE in their right mind want to stay in Stourbridge town centre? What has it got to offer anymore? The Talbot was a lovely hotel and good for weddings etc. but that's gone now. A Premier Inn? A Tesco? So Stourbridge is going to look like every other artifical town centre....

Clare (Blondie)
Why is this such a bad idea? Surely, people can see that the town has been rapidly going down hill for years?!?!?!?! Regeneration is not a bad thing....I have lived in Stourbridge for the past 8 years and I love it, but please let's bring it in to the 21st doesn't mean that local trading has to means more trading to the town...we need to breathe new life in to our lovely town before its too late and before even more bars take over!!

As a teenager of stourbridge i am excited by the prospect of a little more life being pumped into the town centre. What i fail to undersatnd is why the local council could not use the oppertunity to be done with the horrible crown centre and replace it with something that fits in with the beautiful buildings surrounding it.They need to make decent retail space to attract the kind of stores i am told used to occupy spaces in my parents youthx

Richard Holmes
Well the block of flats project has been abandoned now and instead a budget hotel is proposed. But I can't see even that going ahead. Why would anyone want to come and stay in a hotel in Stourbridge? There's no conference centre, no national business HQ, no sporting venue, no reason at all to come. Why can't we just make Stourbridge like it used to be - a pleasant, middle-class, genteel market town. We could do that IF all the money paid by Stourbridge residents were spent on Stourbridge instead of being siphoned off to Quarry Bank, Dudley, Brierley Hill and other nests of housing benefit scroungers. Re-draw the borders so that Stourbridge is part of Worcestershire once again, and things will start to get better.

natalie riddell
I think it be good for Stourbridge as there isnt really any where good to shop.

Bill Halliday
I doubt that this scheme will ever get started now. Modus Developments will not build this if it's uneconomic to do so. Flats like these are falling in price rapidly now, and I would imagine Modua are already thinking about shelving this project.

Wendy - Ontario Canada
I left England earlier this year after living in Stourbridge most of my life. Stourbridge has gone down hill for many years and it was very sad to see that happen, like most of the comments, we used Stourbridge Town for our shopping but forced to go else where when all the shops started to close. It does need a change and I hope for those who still work, live and use Stourbridge, it will be for the better. Lets hope some of the history and buildings are not all lost.

William Hale
This is merely a decoy tactic by Dudley Council. Stourbridge residents' top complaints are congestion, anti-social behaviour, and gangs of bored kids hanging around. This will do nothing to solve those issues. But in future Dudley MBC will say "look, we gave you this brand new building, what are you moaning about?".

Jodie Rock
I am in 2 minds about this development. On one hand, it will be good to have a greater shopping experience in stourbridge, as our biggest supermarkets are Somerfield - Which never sells what you want, or Waitrose - Who are overpriced. Also, I think it will lift the place and create more of an attraction, as I think the Crown Centre does look a little tatty and outdated. However, I believe it's wrong create YET ANOTHER Tesco. There is one in K'ford, one in Amblecote, One in Wordsley and The 'Biggun' In Cradley. Why don't they build an Asda? It's cheaper!! Lol! Joking aside, I think it will be a phenomenal shame if we lose the market, Library and Town Hall just to make way for more 'Tecopoly'. I think it will also turn the town into more of the 'trendy' town it is already starting to become, rather that the traditional, quaint 'hippy' town that Stourbridge has always been. Don't turn Stourbridge into a mini Bullring!!!!! =@(

Some people on this Have your say need to get real. Stourbridge is in all honesty an absolute dump. The ringroad being built, despite the logic behind it, has actually been a chokehold on the stourbridge economy, never before have there been so many charity stores in the town centre, that is all the landlords in the town centre can choose from. How many people would want to travel to stourbridge to visit Oxfam or Scope or Cancer Research Foundation? Not many is the answer. People don't like to have to walk through the dark urinated dangerous subways. Neither do people want to park in that god awful Crown Centre car park. Existing business in Stourbridge are seeing the reality that Stourbridge is not a place people would rather shop at instead of other places such as Merry Hill, and are relocating.Any development whatsoever would help Stourbridge, this particular development will help kick the Town into the 21st century.People on this rant about the history, yeh history is nice to remember but for crying out loud don't think a resurrection is on the cards! All the manufacturing business has left this country so get real and think about the future existence of this town!What is sad is that there is a lot of money to be made in Stourbridge centre because of the many 1000's that live in and around the town - why do you think Tesco will bother to get in on the act?Thank god that Tesco is coming to town. The company attracts all kinds of groups of people - the mums who are doing the family shopping, the elderly who want to pop in, commuters on their way back from work...all kinds of people! These people will also likely to spend money in the neighbouring different shops in the centre too, Tesco will bring even more money to the town, it'll redistribute some of that money to the 750 new employed people.Next development is just as critical:A solution to breaking the chokehold of the ringroad. A new bus centre and a means of easily accessing the town centre without having to embark on a mission under the dark subways. I am thinking of a tram link into a pedestrianised town centre.

John Wilson
It's actually obvious what this is going to be - a fancy modern development stuck in the middle of a run-down, dirty and congested town centre. Who's going to buy those new-build flats? The same people who got their fingers burnt on loss-making dudgy BTL flats in Birmingham?

Mily Moo
its okay, But i think it may loose the stourbridge feel. But personally i'm very excited it will take a long time but as they say worth the wait. It will be a bit sad to see the crown centre destroyed even if it does do nothing. Will the library &+ twn Hall Be delmolished? If it is i will be quite upset and will not want the development to go on. The town hall was built for Queen Victoria so the history says. But i don't mind having to go to Cradley or Oldswinford or even Kiddy For shopping but we could do something else with it. But it's going to be TOO busy too. Which is a worry seen as stourbridge is a small town.

lucy neve
I live in Stourbridge and personally can't wait for the redevelopment. There is currently no where to do a 'big shop' without spending a fortune. Having such a big store means I won't have to use my car. Stourbridge has long needed a facelift!

Michael - Chevron
It really is amazing what a backhander will get you these days. Tesco have kept the competition out by buying buildings & ensuring that nobody can develop in this town. They already have the store in Wordsley that sells nothing you want & another large store in Cradley.Why we need another another one is in the lap of the gods. Or Dudley Councilllers as they like to call themselves = )

Steven Pratt
"See our pictures and have your say!"Well, it all come's a bit late i feel, I'm sad. i mean, to comment about the GO-AHEAD! I'll state for the record that IMHO the methods by which Governments and HUGE Businesses do their dealings--like this one in Stourbridge now--seem crook'd to me. They "the goviness" have IGNORED many local Stourbridge voice's. There was no "mass assembly": a town meeting, to have a proper and fair and open deabte like they used to have in any respectable OLD market town--(1786, like when the 2nd U.S President John Adam's was in Town)--but now in 2008 a meeting in which the individuals, the community groups, and the bizznessezz can all hold a microphone, operate an overhead projector and use the most advanced multi-media tools available to have their say and make their comments is possible. But, this means to better communication seems mostly ignored and even blocked by most HUGE power-brokers, like in this sad case. "What do you think? Tell us below!"Why didn't the BBC help us with their networking and social communications technology BEFORE the GO-AHEAD?For Crying out LOUD.Build a Ecological fun-house, an interactive learning center. Teach about permaculture, Local exchange and Trade systems, and the pro's and con's to international United Snakes style "Shopping Mall's" moving into your community/culture/home! ;-(

Graham Dukes - Oslo, Norway
I last lived in Stourbridge in the 'fifties and have only occasionally been there since - the last time was in 2006. My reaction was one of deep shock at what had been lost. There probably was a need for a Ring Road to avoid congestion in the centre, but it should have been built further out; the loss of the former New Road, Greenfield Avenue and Bath Road, which were part of the centre's quiet charm was tragic, and not unnaturally the ring just provided a faster route to Merry Hill, ruining trade in Stourbridge Centre. The proposed changes to the Ring that I have seen hardly remedy the problem - they are too modest.The Crown Centre was dreadful and needed to be redeveloped, but one might have wished for something more modest and less emphatic than what is now proposed, which makes the area more and more like Merry Hill. Internationally, poeople are getting fed up with massive malls like Merry Hill, which all look the same, and are drifting back to quiet, traditional town centres to do their shopping. Can't Stourbridge at least do something to go along with that trend?Finally: I can't help regretting the progressive loss of some charming little bits of old Stourbridge. When King Edward College expanded, why did they have to destroy the old Vine Inn next to it? It had survived for 400 years and could easily have been incorporated into the design.Graham

Demolish the whole place and start again

D Povey
Another Tesco's? What with all the express shops popping up and the extra store in Cradley Heath, I think we need a different store, and morrisons would be a good one as the nearest decent one is Wednesbury.

john niblett
looks great but can anyone tell us where the Stourbridge institute and social club fits in to this

Mrs Eve Akeroyd
Dudley planning authority have yet again failed to blend a new building into Georgian/Victorian fasards.When are they going to pedestrianise the high street and make Stourbridge a good place to shop in.

Brian From Brum
1. New Bus Station2. Get rid of the underpassesbetter for all!

Mrs K
The Crown Centre has been a disaster from start to finish - it should have been left as a bowling green. This 'development' is just a feeble attempt to tart up this ugly white elephant. I notice that the red brick edifice facing Crown Lane is largely untouched, and so doubtless that area will remain as unattractive as it is now. As for the flats on top of the car park, who on earth will want to live there?Shame on you, Dudley council. This is a wasted opportunity to inject some much needed charm and class into this area of the town.


Bec H
Anyone that says investment in Stourbridge is a 'bad idea' needs their head looking at! Lets face it, the town's decline has pretty much hit rock bottom now. What used to be a beauiful place to shop and meet friends has been ruined my the creation of Merry Hill. This redevelopment will improve the look of the town, but it will not bring customers back from Merry Hill. It is still a great town to go to on a night.The plans look good, as they will re-develop an old shabby area, and even though I don't believe they will bring a great deal of money back to Stourbride, it will be of benefit.It's about time some money was spent here!!

jamie andrews
i think it will look great

Andrew Jenkins
Stourbridge is overdeveloped overpopulated and overtrafficked. There is no doubt that lots of money would be made by a few people if the town centre were to be redeveloped, but the money would be better spent on improving the suburbs, particularly the lack of local shops either of any kind, or of a useful standard, needs to be addressed. At the moment those that exist are very second rate in many cases, and forcing people into a very restricted town centre in order that they may shop is lunacy.

matthew field
i think we should ask morrisons if they want to take over the site and build a big supermarket after all it used to be in stroubridge so why not ask them

colin kendrick
great move for stourbridge

Richard Holmes
Does anyone really imagine this is how Stoubridge is going to be? What it will look like on a rainy Autumn weekday, jammed with cars and buggies? What will it look like on a Sunday morning, the pavements dotted with regurgitated chips and kebabs? How will it look after it has been customised by Stourbridge's hoardes of graffiti artists? This is going to be a white elephant memorial to the post-millenium housing boom which is already coming to an abrupt end. Better to spoend the money on actually PLANNING the town properly, i.e. pedestrianise the high street, put in proper cycle lanes and facilities, narrow the ring road down to 2 lanes and use the freed space for buses, cylists, or something better. Clean up and light the underpasses properly. Put in some proper toilets (I mean even the LIBRARY doesn't have toilets - how mad is that?) There's so much that could be done to revive the town but this isn;t going to help one iota.

paul drinkwater
great looking development, this coupled with the long overdue pedstrianisation of the high st.should bring stourbridge into the 21st century, just have to get the local elders to move with the times. e. g. look @ kidderminster, worcester etc. etc.

Until the people, of stourbridge work out, that Dudley Council are just throwing the trash at stourbridge. The town will never have the glory it used to have. Dudley council won't allow the chain pubs/bars, permission to open in Dudley town. Cause they want it to be a family town, with the regeneration of the zoo and castle. But they will let them open in stourbridge, without any problems. Dudley council will never regenerate Stourbridge, they didn't even put the town into their bid for Lottery for the borough. Get Stourbridge out of Dudley council.

claudette mcleod
It would be so nice to develop Stourbridge, the side walks in the high street are so small they are dangerous, people tend to walk in the road, so to develop that would be ieal. We do need some life injected into stourbridge regardless of what people say, its full of charity shops & pubs, lets give merryhill a run for its money. please help us inject life into the highstreet.

Alice McCormack
I think that the plans sound great! Whenever I drive past the crown centre I always think that it looks a mess, maybe now something will be done to change it!



Rosie Cotterill
Well whatever they do, it couldn't get a lot worse.

Andrew Potter
What's going to be created for the children of Stourbridge, now that the skate park's gone?! It's a good idea to bring more people into Stourbridge though.

Helen Butcher
As a resident of Stourbridge, i would welcome a new development. I love to walk into the town but I mainly only use it for the Library, Post Office, Boots and occassionally the little shops where Waitrose is. I have a young family and do not feel the High Street is a safe place to walk with them. During the day because of the cars and at night because of the yobs coming out of the pubs. More family friendly restaurants (and not the ones selling Nuggets and Chips)! The Crystal is disgusting and I never use it. I also agree with many other people about the ring road. It is dangerous and cuts Stourbridge off from surrounding areas. If a safe shopping area is going to be built for us to walk in and shop with our children, would it be possible to open Stourbridge up as it used to be many years ago when Worcester Street lead into the town centre. I can see the connection with the glass frontage as Stourbridge is known for its history in making glass. It is a shame it is no longer made here. It would be nice to see an upto date Stourbridge but in a way that they acknowlege the reason why Stourbridge is so well known, its history for Glass Making. We have growing children, don't forget the teenagers. It was comforting to read that the money for all of this wasn't coming from the Dudley government but from a private developer, is this why there needs to be housing? After all they need to make there money somehow but it does raise an issue of where these people will go when they need a doctor and what schools are their children going to attend, since the doctors and schools in Stourbridge are already over busy and there are so many department and housing developments happening already in Stourbridge. Building housing is a quick way of making money but dosn't always pay off in the future. I welcome a good sized supermarket as the old fashioned way of buying from your individual shops, I think, has already started to die out. Young families who work do not have the time to shop around. I currently shop in Kidderminster or the Merry Hill. The Merry Hill is a nightmare if you just want to pop in and do a little bit of shopping and Kidderminster is in Worcester. Please provide us with a Stourbridge that local residents can be proud of and use, so we can support our local businesses and government. If there was less charity shops may be Stourbridge would attract more shoppers!

Great! more space for more pubs and Charity shops.

i think its a great idea to marry the historical side of the town with a new development, the crown centre in my opinion has no historical significance and a new developement offering over 750 new positions to the town is an excellent idea. although the fat cats will inevitably get fatter at least i will be able to avoid the soul destroying merry hill.

Andy Parsons
i hope that is what is done to stourbidge. ill skate and loiter the town!! now the tight council have ruined skaing for the youth we can all run riot around the town. still there is always drugs to take and beer to drink on my friday night out. who needs a skate park? well i do. i especially like the outdoor atempt at a skate park they built by red hill. it looks like a park but actualy is unskatable. nice to know whoever bulit it did their research. its really good when wet aswell. that space under the multi story car park will be used for somthing good now im sure, just as it was before. i supose when you work for the council and wear a suit to work its hard to see the point of view of the youth. i just want to say thank you dudley counciln for puting the kids back on the street. at least its cheaper?

Ohhh, how imaginative - a glass fronted retail development. Throw in tescos and a pizza hut and a handle of flats - never seen that anywhere before.Of course, it's nothing to do with development of the town though is it, as said it's a private development to earn the developers some money. If Dudley council want to get people back in to Stourbridge, the best thing that could happen is to get rid of the ridiculous ring road that puts it in shear isolation, demolish the frankly foul urine soaked multi storey, and develop the town centre in line with the architecture of the vast majority of the towns buildings.Or, you could copy what happened in Dudley town centre, where a once charming market town is now a derelict mess with guess what - a glass fronted retail development (churchill centre), pedestrianisation and attempts everywhere to turn it into a 'modern' town - it just looks a MESS.Go to France and see if they do that with thier historic towns - no, they protect, preserve and develop new buildings in sympathy with thier surroundings.

Lee, Black Country Bloke.
Let's face it - that particular part of stourbridge is dull and depressing. I am a fan of the high street recent updates and think stourbridge is one of the nicest towns to visit in the black country as it retains a feeling of being 'classier' than most of the run down town centres we now live in. But as you arrive at the now manky crystal leisure centre you're confronted by a horrible back street and a dingy badly planned out concrete car-park that looks like it was dreamt up by dodgy spanish builders ! This part needs to change and lets face it - the amount of work that needs doing and money it will cost, it's only gonna happen through Tesco's hole burning profits. If they allocate a portion towards security then they might even banish some of the hoodie's and chavs. I'm for it - though has to be said it will be hell for the residents in the mean time.

Stourbridge needs a boost. It really needs a shopping centre with a decent supermarket

Looks good. Why can't people on the internet spell and punctuate properly? I bet this doesn't get on the message board!

well I say, let's all go for it

I think it looks brilliant. The crown centre at the moment is hardly anything that will be greatly missed. Only issue is that the build will inevitably take years to complete, and cause disruption to the town centre and facilities such as the library. I also think that it should be ensured that a market exists for new apartments - I have heard many rumours of empty apartments in Merry Hill, surely this will just act as a haven for vandals?

Cllr. Les Jones
It is really interesting to see the various views about the new development opportunities for the Crown Centre and there is never a concensus about how it should be done but I have to clear up one misunderstanding. There will be absolutely NO public money spent on this. It is a private scheme by a private developer with a private sector supermarket as a partner. That is the way all retail developments happen. The local Authority is only involved in attracting the interest of developers and overseeing the planning process. The pUBLIC in West Bormwich is a fine example of how a committee can design a Horse and end up with a Camel. Millions of pounds of Tax payers money have been wasted on an Iconic building that never had a commercial market. I don't think elected representatives of the people should ever go off on ego trips like that, but I do believe we should encourage regeneration of our Town centres. This is a greast scheme (in my opinion), the details will still have to go through a rigorous planning examination and may well have to be modified but writing it off without offering an alternative is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.By the way, the Crown Centre is only about thirty years old, if anyone can show me its historic character I will be very happy to protect it!

Shane (3rd time)
HaHa I agree with John!Young chavvish lads and yng girls acting there old enough to drink and smoke when the have only started school! And dudley council are talking about safer and cleaner streets??!?!?! Then why are so many people try and avoid stourbridge for this reason? Spend money on cctv and more security for the centre!

Why do people think that all of stourbridge has a historical character? The crown centre at the moment doesnt, nor does the ryemarket or the bus stop. This is a massive improvement to bring a great town into the 21st century!

John McWilliams
Nice pictures, but I suspect they will bear little resemblance to reality. What is the tree and grassy area in the foreground, for example? There's nothing like that near the ring road. Those elegant slim people you see walking around in the picture, will in fact turn out to be hoardes of pasty, fat chavs. The smattering of cars in the picture will in fact be a traffic jam. The gleaming glass frontage will soon be smashed by drunks and vandals. The spotless plaza in the picture will soon be covered with deposits of gum.

N from Stourbidge
It's a shame that a tiny part of the £20 million can't be used to save the skate park for the kids. Other than that, looks promising....

After reading some of the comments about it not being keeping with the history, I agree it's not, but I also agree with the people saying it needs a boost. But I still think our wonderful Dudley Council should be thinking about other area's that need attention, like our schools, the Oh so great Newly developed Russells Hall, which is lacking in staff and equipment, the state of our roads & streets, with pot holes & rubbish piling up. I just can't understand how any one can condone spending that all that money when their are other projects that deserve and need the money more so.

Lets keep the historical feel to Stourbridge. Who wants modern buildings, they have no character. I am not against a new Crown centre, but please keep it in line with the rest of the town.

Call the ombudsman, something seems very fishy in Stourbridge and Dudley to me. How about a museum, a bio-organic garden, a Guy Fawks memorial? not more bloody shopping! Stourbridge needs a regeneration of IMAGINATION.

Rubbish more apartments what happened to the good Stourbridge? Answer Dudley council. Stourbridge has been left to rot for years by Dudley MBC and now more unneeded housing. With these flats, the ones just built by the baths and the housing estate on the gas works there will be major traffic probs. For us who live in and nearby Stourbridge this is not what we want another ugly glass building!

What about putting the money toward restoring the charm of Stourbridge? How about finding a solution to the ring road and then putting the two parts of the town back together as one. This is what will draw people and money to Stourbridge- An attractive town with access to the centre and lots of charm.

Nick - Stourbridge
The artists impression of the ring road is most amusing - is the design of hte new shopping area going to make congestion disapear as well!!

keith marks
brill,start tomorrow

Shane (again)
Ok so looking and the more recent comments its coming across that some are saying that its too modern and not staying with the 'old style' of how stourbridge USED to be like.Have you thought that this may be the reason stourbridge has become a ghost town. 'what was a bustling community with lovely old buildings being used to benefit those who lived there is completely lost with such an ugly edifice! ' as for these comments for example which shows some people are still living the past! Come on let the new developments come in and show some more of what stourbridge can offer!


About time Stourbridge got a share - instead of just giving money to Dudley. Don't like the glass & concrete plans - too impersonal. Stourbridge deserves something with character, not a monstrosity that will decay in a few years.I also hope the multi storey car parks will have properly sized spaces and good security so that they are user friendly. At the moment it is very sad seeing a once proud town being neglected by Dudley, all the old amenities such as the council offices parks and hospital being deliberately closed or run down.

Looks good and Stourbridge certainly needs a boost but I hope this doesn't turn into another white elephant like 'The Public' in West Bromwich. Plus where is all the money coming from?

Nick Hawksmore
Looks like they're just putting brick cladding on the car-park, and sticking apatments on top. The pseudo-contemporary solar shades in front of the curved glazing are pointless. We need something on a human scale that relates to the architecture of this interesting small town.

It does look good, but what about other area's that could do with a money boost? Schools, Russell's Hall, perhaps youth centres to get the kid's off the street's. I think the money would be well spent some where else. If they do go ahead are they going to employ more street cleaners? As the state of our streets & roads are apalling.

steve harper
The proposed plans look great. Anything that brings daytime trade to the town is good news.What Stourbridge needs is more shops and less bars and pubs, or it will suffer the same fate as Brierley Hill, and slip into the shadow of MERRY HILL. Only to emerge at night to provide fast food and drink outlets !!!

Yet another square concrete and glass block! I lived in Stourbridge as a girl and was married there and think the character of what was a bustling community with lovely old buildings being used to benefit those who lived there is completely lost with such an ugly edifice! Merry Hill is quite enough thank you. Lets have something that blends in with the existing structures and shows a little more respect for things old as well as new.

Mike Morgan
Absolute rubbish! The most significant development in Stourbridge over the past 30 years isn't a building - its the damned ring road, which does what every other ring road in the area has ever, and will ever do, and announce the death knell for the shops and businesses within the curtilage of it. A supermarket will not compete with the plethora of shops at nearby Merry Hill, and its suggested size, at 70,000 sq ft will mean its falls foul of Sunday Trading Laws, so bang goes your 24/7 shopping notions. What is then left within the curtilage, is a mish-mash of tiny shops which is fine, but developers who own these sites ( because they are looking at market rent values ) often need to realise significant profits, and the result of that is that while initially, towns that are re-developed like Stourbridge have a mini renaissance, then suffer the downside as market forces increase rental costs, and many retailers cannot afford to stay in place. What happens then is that the perceived quality disappears as low cost but high profile retailers ( like Lidl and Wilko move in. As soon as this happens the town's vibrancy and appearance dies in a sea of corporate cheap shop fronts and dayglo signage. As far as Ellie's comments go, Architects do NOT have problems tying in old and new developments ( look at Worcester as an example )what they have problems with is getting the blessed schemes through the Planning system, which is so archaic, opinionated and bigotted, and dependent upon "Committees" of individuals who know precious little,if anything about architecture, buildings or people, but who manage coincidentally to influence and cajole local politicians, pressure groups and Societies that XYZ developments shouldn't go ahead. Its time to get rid of the past rubbish, we're all living in a "brave new world" whether we like it or not and we have to adapt. Old buildings are fine if they have merit, and if they have a use, or a potential use, if not lets get rid and re-use the materials to produce something of some quality, substance and meaning for the betterment of all.

Deb from Cradley Heath
Where is the money coming from?

Hayley Sanghera :-)
yay i love it! it looks really good! more people might come to stourbridge then, instead of merry hill! very good for tourists etc. Its GREAT! :D yay finally something to liven our town centre up! :P the only suggestion i can make to improve it is MORE GLASS, because that looks soooo much more modern and cool . x .

John Hollis
Are they going to pedestranise the High Street? If not, all this is a waste of money.

Richard G
This seems an exciting idea for stourbridge and plans should go into action in my opinion. Stourbridge needs a revamp to keep attracting consumers to the area. New bars and clubs are good but development of shops is as important.

I think it would improve the town considerably and look very modern. The town needs regeneration and this is the answer.

Why do architects seem to struggle so much with the idea of blending the new developments in. This looks exactly like every other red brick and glass heap in the Midlands. Have some imagination! That part of town especially still has plenty of attractive old buildings. Even Psuedo-Period building is better than this.

Crown Centre has gone downhill even more since Safeway shut and it wasn't nice at all!! and i don't agree with those saying Stourbridge isn't very rundown because this end of the town centre is. Fair enough the developments at the southern end with new bars may be appealing but the Crown Centre is an eyesore and is such a shame there are so many empty units.

Stourbridge comes across all dull and boring a new makeover would benefit not only the shoppers who go now, but also entice others ie young people like myself as oppose to brum and merry hill!

David Michael Hawkins
What is going to happen to the Stourbridge Library?

Catherine , Stourbridge
The car park looks little different to what is already there and I do not like theincreased height with the offices above. Does Stourbridge really need more office space?

Mark Brocklebank-Smith
It is good that investors consider this worthwhile. BUT are developments such as this an Tesco being considered as a whole, i believe more thought needs to be given to bring everything together rather than isolated pockets.

john austin, stourbridge
This is tremendous news. There has been a lot of controversy regarding exactly where a new supermarket should be built, with original ideas for construction off the ring road, away from town. Obviously by having the site in the old crown centre this will bring more trade into stourbridge. I only hope that the finished product looks as good as these pictures...

looks like a brilliant idea....something stourbridge is desperately in need of

Colin MacDonald
I think much of the appeal of Stourbridge town centre is the fact that over the years it has largely escaped regeneration! However, the Crown Centre was always a depressing place even when new, so if we are to have any regeneration at all, lets have it in the Crown Centre and the Bell St car park! For that reason I am in favour of it, far better than building Tescoville on the other side of town.

Les Jones
In response to Anon, the rest of the Town will become more attractive to other businesses when a large supermarket arrives. In other developments around the Country something like 20% of the extra retail spend attracted by the foodstore will spill over into other shops around it. This could run to 4 or 5 million pounds for a store of this size. It's all about creating demand.

Anna, wall heath
stourbridge is very small and very busy! it will be better if there is more space for car parking and walking because on the street if you are walking with your family you have to walk in single file.

This is hardly in keeping with an historical town. Why not pedestrianise and roof over the high street to make the most of the victorian (and older)buildings that remain. Small specialist shops could provide what Merry Hill lacks.

Matthew, Cradley Heath
Whilst there may be a few eye sores around the Black Country, Stourbridge is one of the few towns that doesn't look run down. I believe the regeneration costs could be better spent elsewhere.

Sally, Stourbridge
Hooray! Can't wait, so I don't have to go to Merry Hell any more....perhaps it also might encourage Stourbridge traders to open at more convenient hours - actually some shops close at 4pm on a Saturday!

What about the rest of the town??

Steve Meese
I think it would a wonderful idea to see Stourbridge redeveloped in ths way:)!!!!

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