Kidderminster town centre revamp plan concerns traders

Artists impression of the Bull Ring, Kidderminster Wyre Forest District Council said a planning application would be submitted by the end of 2013

Businesses in Kidderminster have said they are unhappy about plans to regenerate the town centre.

Wyre Forest District Council is proposing to build more shops and restaurants at the Bull Ring and extend Weavers Wharf retail park.

Traders on Lower Mill Street have started a petition against proposals to demolish their shops and relocate them to new units.

Plans will go on display in the town on Friday as part of public consultation.

Tina Mantel, who runs Woolwise knitting and textiles shop in Lower Mill Street said: "All the shopkeepers are up in arms.

"The council are intending to move well established businesses that bring a lot of revenue into the town and knock them down.

"A lot of the shopkeepers will be closing up for good because they won't be able to afford the rents to move back into the town centre."

Regeneration 'a priority'

As part of the plans, Crown House would be knocked down and a new square built in its place.

An area along the River Stour would also be redeveloped so markets could be held there.

Council leader John Campion said: "Regenerating Kidderminster and demolishing Crown House has been a priority of the district council for a number of years.

"It represents a clear commitment from the council to improve the look of the town."

The authority said a planning application drawn up by developers Henderson would be submitted by the end of the year, if approved, work could start in Summer 2014.

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