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£28 million revamp for old Kays site
A £28 MILLION transformation of one of Worcester’s most historic sites will get underway next month, it can be revealed.
Developers behind the much-anticipated overhaul of the old Kays factory in St John’s say the first spade will go into the ground in October.
Once complete, 158 two, three and four-bed properties will sit on the land, signalling the end of an era for the landmark site off Bransford Road.
Persimmon Homes, which is doing the work, says it expects the first raft of homes to be ready by early 2014.
Richard Oldroyd, managing director at Persimmon Homes South Midlands, said: “This particular piece of land has remained dormant since 2007 and we are keen to put the space to good use.
“The existing community will benefit from the creation of quality new houses which will, in turn, create jobs for local people.”
The factory, which belonged to the historic old catalogue firm before becoming Littlewoods Shop Direct, closed its doors in 2007 and has been neglected since.
At one time Kay & Co was the city’s biggest employer, but it got stuck into a spiral of decline, which was hastended by the internet.
Back in 2009 a public inquiry took place over the land because Worcester City Council wanted to preserve it for employment.
Councillor Richard Udall said: “It is welcome news that this site is finally being developed.
“But I do think it’s a shocking shame it was not preserved for employment, that is what many people wanted.
“There are many people in St John’s who lost their jobs when it closed down, and to this day they are still seeking employment.”
The authority lost its battle after a government planning inspector agreed with previous owners Arndale that it had no viable future for a business, partly due to poor transport links.
The land was then handed to Persimmon Homes, which created the plans and subsequently secured permission from the council’s planning committee.
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