PLANS for a multi-million pound complex on the former Bromsgrove Market Hall site are in disarray after developer Opus Land announced it was pulling out.
The news was revealed by the Conservative group the full Bromsgrove District Council meeting on Wednesday (September 24).
The Standard exclusively revealed in 2011 detailed blueprints of the 1.78 acre development which took in George House and Hanover Street Car Park and included a high profile retailer, the town’s first purpose-built five-screen cinema, a food store and restaurants.
The Cabinet gave Opus approval in March 2014 to develop the site but, Coun Rita Dent said, the council had recently been contacted by the company which said it was no longer able to deliver the scheme as originally agreed.
She added despite the setback the council remained committed to developing the site in line with the Town Centre Area Action Plan (AAP) and officers were in the process of considering other options.
“Officers believe there is still a high level of interest on the part of potential tenants of the site.
“Due to the high level of commercial sensitivity around this issue we are unable to say more on this currently.”
But Labour leader Coun Luke Mallett said the Conservative group needed to double its efforts, work with councillors from all parties and revisit the town centre plans to bring retailers and people back to Bromsgrove as soon as possible.
He added the council had spent more than £500,000 on a building it might not be able to get anyone to take on and this had raised major questions, especially since the first developer for the site had backed out as well.
“This clearly is another tremendous blow for the town centre of Bromsgrove.
“The proposal for the site was the key anchor to drawing other retailers into the town.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Coun Mallett said there were alternatives, such as using the site to build housing to get people living back in the town centre, but those ideas had not even been considered.
* What do you think? What shops or facilities would you like to see on the former Bromsgrove Market Hall site? Send us your views by emailing email@example.com