Businesses and residents are being asked for their views to help shape the future regeneration of West Bromwich.
Sandwell Council is launching a four-week public and online consultation, which will run from Thursday 22 July until 5.30pm Friday 20 August.
The council is drawing up the West Bromwich masterplan to provide a blueprint and vision to help attract financial investment and secure continuing growth and prosperity for the town centre during the coming decades.
The Interim Planning Statement (IPS) will provide an updated planning policy document taking into account new land uses for the town and will replace the current West Bromwich Area Action Plan (AAP) 2012 which now needs updating.
A programme of consultation sessions is being organised during the consultation period where people can learn more about the council’s future regeneration proposals for the town centre and talk to officers.
All the events will take place in the public space (centrally between Duchess/Princess Parade in between the entrances of Kings and Queens Squares).
Dates for the events are:
- Tuesday 27 July, 10am-12noon
- Thursday 29 July, 10am-12noon
- Tuesday 3 August, 12noon-2pm
- Thursday 5 August, 12noon-2pm
- Tuesday 10 August, 10am-12noon
- Thursday 12 August, 10am-12noon
- Tuesday 17 August, 12noon-2pm
Hard copies of the consultation form will be available at the public sessions, and should be returned to: Growth and Spatial Planning, Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury B69 3DE.
The masterplan proposals and the Interim Planning Statement (IPS) along with the consultation survey are also available online.
Councillor Iqbal Padda, Sandwell’s Cabinet Member for Strong and Inclusive Economy, said: “We want to hear the views of as many individuals, community groups and businesses as possible on our proposals for a new dynamic vision for the town centre, which we believe will foster significant investment, regeneration and enable the town to grow and prosper for the future.
“The shape of traditional retail has changed and the pandemic has accelerated this trend, meaning many town centres are seeing a shrinking retail sector and many vacant and abandoned shops with many town centres declining.
“In order to combat and reverse some of this general decline of use of the town, we are drawing up the Masterplan to drive change for the town. We want to look at how we can transform existing spaces in the town centre to new uses – for example creating residential homes – encouraging and uplifting the economy in the area.
“This vision will be used to attract and bid for further investment programmes to assist in regeneration and development activity for the town.”
Councillor Rajbir Singh, Sandwell Council Leader, added: “This is a long term plan – looking forward over the next 20-30 years for the town – and the masterplan will deliver significant and sustainable change and provide new opportunities and investment back to West Bromwich.
The council’s planning team has already worked with pupils at local Lyng Primary school, asking pupils for their ideas about what they would like to see in the town centre as they grow up and the consultation is also involving the West Bromwich Town Deal Board, Sandwell College and other youth, community, business and voluntary groups.
Savills is supporting Sandwell Council to draw up the masterplan.
After the consultation, feedback will be analysed and reported back to the Cabinet later in October/November 2021.