The creation of a new supermarket in the heart of Dudley town centre that would create hundreds of new jobs was today taking steps closer to reality – as artist impressions of how it would look were unveiled.
With striking floor-to-ceiling glass walls and curved architecture, these images show how the development would transform an outdated office block in the town.
Cavendish Quarter Properties Ltd wants to build the superstore and petrol station where Cavendish House stands in Trindle Road.
Residents have been calling for the unsightly building to be knocked down for some time.
The images, released by the developer, show how the office block would be replaced with a modern supermarket with landscaped areas and an adjoining car park.
The proposals, which would bring up to 300 full and part-time positions, have now been recommended for approval by council planning officers.
They have backed the scheme saying it will bring employment to the town and revamp a partially derelict site, which has been earmarked for regeneration.
Under the plans, Cavendish House will be knocked down and the site, as well as neighbouring land, will be cleared to make way for the store and petrol station.
A total of 402 parking spaces would be created partly underneath the store and on two decked levels.
It would be operated as a free car park, limited to a two hour maximum stay.
It is not yet know which store chain would move into the site.
In a report planning officers said: “On balance even though there are acknowledge potential impacts on some existing food stores within Dudley and the catchment area, the proposed development will lead to the positive improvement of an existing, partly derelict Dudley town centre development site.”
The scheme has been welcomed by English Heritage, who said the development would “potentially help to improve the overall outlook towards the town centre from the castle”.
Chris McPherson, development director for Cavendish Quarter Properties, said: “A significant amount of work has gone into all aspects of this scheme to ensure it will bring a high quality development that will regenerate the town centre. Cavendish House and the surrounding area has been in need of redevelopment for many years and there is at long last an opportunity to see a high quality, commercially feasible and deliverable development which will see early construction and the removal of an eyesore at the gateway to the Town Centre. This food store will bring shoppers back into the town, will increase car parking provision and will provide around 300 jobs.
“If this opportunity is lost, this part of Dudley could be blighted for another generation.”
The scheme is one of three proposed new supermarkets in the town centre. Avenbury has also lodged plans for the Cavendish House site while Commercial Estates Group wants to build a store where Falcon House now stands in the Minories.
Ward councillor Steve Waltho said: “I have always welcomed any regeneration is this area.
“I know in the past some schemes have been put forward but they have never come to fruition.
“But I am glad that it looks like something positive will finally be happening here.
“It will smarten up the area and hopefully bring more people into the town.”