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Redditch Borough Council has published how it hopes to secure a major development partner to draw up and then deliver a ‘comprehensive regeneration’ of Matchborough and Winyates district centres.

It’s set out in a report that’s due before the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday (March 21), ahead of being considered by the Executive Committee the following Monday (March 26).

That report outlines how all four developers brought in to ‘soft market test’ the idea of regenerating the centres believed it to be achievable. Subject to approval by the Executive Committee, the next steps would now see officers tasked with reporting back, in June, with a more detailed specification of the council’s requirements to be put out to a formal procurement process to secure a development partner.

Those requirements are currently outlined as:

  • there would be extensive local public engagement in the development of proposals
  • the existing centres would be either refurbished or demolished and replaced with either two new centres or one new centre and one new parade or shop
  • no affordable housing stock would be lost
  • there would be a new health centre and  local food retail presence
  • bus access would be maintained through the centres during and after redevelopment
  • there would be continuity for existing community facilities and businesses during the regeneration process
  • the council’s financial and other interests would be protected

The procurement process would see expressions of interest invited from members of the Homes England Delivery Partner Panel, a panel of house builders and construction companies with considerable experience of delivering major housing-led regeneration projects. The soft market testing was conducted with members of this panel.

At the end of that process, which would be around March next year, the developer whose response was most closely aligned with the council’s requirements would be selected as the development partner for the project. It would be then, with a delivery partner procured, that work to put together an actual redevelopment scheme for the centres would begin.

Cllr Matt Dormer, Leader of Redditch Borough Council, said: “This is the next step towards unlocking the potential of the district centres in Matchborough and Winyates. We want to bring a sustainable, high quality redevelopment of the centres that improves the areas, brings benefits to residents, and creates new housing and investment in Redditch. We need a development partner to bring their expertise to the table and help turn that into reality, and multiple developers have said they think the idea is viable and deliverable.

"Nothing has been decided and this isn’t about the specifics of a future redevelopment. We can’t start to engage with the community about that yet. Finding a suitable development partner is the horse that goes before the cart. We want someone with a proven track record, who understands our priorities, and who has the kind of expertise we would expect for a regeneration project of this size, from consultation through to construction.”