Parkgate Commercial Property Scheme Gives Shirley Town Centre a Makeover

Posted on 26 January, 2012 by MOVEHUT

One of the region’s longest scheduled regeneration schemes is set to finally get underway in May.

Work will commence on the commercial property Parkgate scheme in Shirley, Solihull to transform Shirley town centre, almost 13 years after original proposals were first drawn up.

Developers Shirley Advance had put in an appeal to the Government department after their last two applications were thrown out by Solihull Council.

The 85 million mixed-use regeneration scheme could well be finished in time for Christmas 2013.

The developers are hoping the news will put an end to the years of discussion and argument about the commercial property project which has received mixed responses from residents, traders, action groups, councillors and MPs.

The scheme, which was finally given the green light following a public inquiry, will have an Asda supermarket at its heart and will include other commercial property retail units, apartments, houses and retirement flats.

The new Parkgate scheme will provide:

  • Around twenty new commercial property shops in an ‘open’, pedestrian friendly environment
  • An Asda superstore, restaurants and cafes
  • Residential apartments and townhouses (including 40 per cent affordable housing) as well as retirement living apartments
  • £500,000 of improvements to Shirley Park
  • Over 500 short stay basement car parking spaces, which will be free of charge for all visitors for at least 3 hours
  • A Shopmobility facility and public spaces
  • Substantial improvements to the roads in the surrounding area
  • Improvements to the First Shirley Scout Group HQ and The Royal British Legion and the opportunity for Shirley Baptist Church to redevelop its existing  commercial property facilities with a brand new frontage onto Parkgate.

Speaking to The Observer, Robert Birch of developers, Shirley Advance said that regardless of several delays during the course of the project which had been out of the company’s hands, they were delighted Parkgate would now become a reality.

Birch added: “Parkgate will help to halt the on-going decline seen in Shirley town centre over recent years.  It will also act as a catalyst for further investment in the area.

“The vast majority of development projects across the UK have failed since the global recession hit; but, given our considerable track record and financial strength, this well proven and much needed scheme will now be delivered.”

The developer had come under fire in recent weeks from critics who have accused it of delaying and even failing on the project.

However, Mr Birch used last week’s announcement to silent those critics.

He said: Incredibly, we understand that there has been some recent suggestions that Shirley Advance has actually ‘failed’ over Parkgate. Given the fact that we have managed to get to where we have, in the face of everything that has happened over the past few years, we have not failed. On the contrary, we have clearly succeeded.”

Fitzgerald Civil Contractors and BAM Construction will build the commercial property development and it is thought up to 300 construction jobs could be created.

Site assembly will be finished in April before construction can get underway.

Mr Birch said the estimated building cost would be around £35 million compared to the original estimate of £45 million. Costs had fallen due to the fact construction.

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