Car Park 4 may be bulldozed to make way for supermarket

By Ian Dipple Thursday 22 May 2014 Updated: 23/05 09:05

A TOWN centre car park could be demolished to make way for a supermarket.

The Kingfisher Shopping Centre has revealed plans to the Standard to tear down Car Park 4 and replace it with a superstore.

The project would cost more than £10million and take about 18 months to build, subject to planning permission being granted.

Shoppers will be consulted on the plans at events in the centre next Saturday (May 31) and Monday (June 2) between 10am and 4pm when more details will be revealed. It is hoped a planning application will be submitted by the end of the year.

The move is the latest bid by centre owners Capital & Regional to prove creating a supermarket in the town centre is possible and persuade Asda to ditch its plan to develop a superstore out of the current B&Q site in Smallwood.

As the Standard reported two weeks ago bosses fear if the plan is given the green light it will devastate the town centre and kill off any hopes of attracting a supermarket back into the heart of Redditch, something residents have long called for since Tesco left more than two decades ago.

Mark Bourgeois, executive director for Capital & Regional, said: “We have listened to our customers and know a supermarket is at the top of their wish list. We have credible plans to deliver an in-town food store of comparable size to Asda’s out of town application, however we simply can’t do so if a large out-of-town supermarket is given permission.

“As a landowner in the town, we wholeheartedly support development and investment into Redditch but we strongly believe it should be directed into the heart of the community. If Asda’s plans were to go ahead it would be a hammer blow to the future of the town centre and would certainly ruin the chances of an in-town food store.”

Mr Bourgeois also hinted they may reconsider their investment plans for the centre should the Asda proposal go-ahead. Since taking control of the centre in 2012 the company has invested millions of pounds including in the new Hub area attracting names such as Pure Gym and Nando’s.

Plans will also be unveiled shortly to transform Worcester Square and Evesham Walk.

“We are keen to invest in Redditch, however we cannot plan for future development unless we know it is being protected,” Mr Bourgeois said.

Asda say they are continuing to progress their application with B&Q and subject to planning permission hope to have it open by 2016. Planners are expected to consider the proposal in June.

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