More than 700 people turned out to give their views on a multi-million pound regeneration scheme in the heart of Dudley – with the scheme finding favour with many residents.
Experts were on hand at the town's Churchill Precinct to talk people through plans developed by property firm Avenbury for the largely derelict Porters Field site, including the long disused Cavendish House.
Many residents who stopped to look at the plans during the exhibition on Friday and Saturday said they were in favour of such a development and that work to regenerate that section of the town was long overdue. Proposals drawn up would see the boarded-up Cavendish House building demolished and replaced with an 800,000sq ft supermarket.
A restaurant and other leisure facilities are also planned for the site along with a landscaped area leading into the town centre and a new taxi office. If the scheme wins approval, there would also be space for the Midland Metro to run through the site, and a car park for more than 500 vehicles.
Additional space at the site, which would be called Porters Field, would be created by re-routing existing Trindle Road to bring it parallel with Duncan Edwards Way. If successful the scheme would create around 500 jobs in the town.
Leroy Holness, aged 58, of Dudley, said: "It would be good to get rid of those eyesore buildings like Cavendish House and some of the buildings in that area which are no longer in use. We need something to bring some life back into the heart of the town."
Patrick Nicholas, aged 48, of Junction Street, Dudley, said: "The town has been in decline for too long. In the early 1980s it was one of the most successful shopping centres but in more recent times it has been desperately in need of regeneration."
Edward Grieve, spokesman for Avenbury, said 743 people attended the exhibition. He welcomed the positive response to the plans.