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Council admits traffic concern over massive Worcester revamp
DEVELOPERS behind a massive homes and leisure complex in Worcester will be expected to hand over a seven-figure sum to ease congestion, it has emerged.
Worcester City Council is taking a hard line over the Sherriff Street project after admitting it could have a “severe impact” on traffic.
As your Worcester News revealed yesterday, the complex is expected to be approved when the planning committee meets next week.
But a council report says planning chiefs will not allow it to “compromise” the already-congested roads network.
Your Worcester News can reveal the developer has already offered to help the situation by ring-fencing 200 of the 1,000 parking spaces to Network Rail for customers at Shrub Hill Railway Station.
The measure will help householders in and around Newtown Road who face daily parking nightmares as so many commuters dump vehicles in residential streets.
The report says “there is a commitment on all sides” to introduce measures to ease traffic around the site, saying the developer Sherriff’s Gate Ltd will be expected to pay towards it.
It lists Newtown Road, the queues waiting at the lights in Williamson Road, and the Shrub Hill Road/Tolladine Road/Lowesmoor Terrace junction as problem areas which need investment.
It says “without comprehensive improvements” to the highways layout the complex will have a “severe adverse impact” on wider Worcester congestion.
A fresh report is now being worked up, which will be ready for Thursday’s planning committee meeting, on the transport changes required.
It is expected to include junction improvements, cycle lanes, better pedestrian links and enhanced bus services.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, the deputy leader of Worcestershire County Council and the cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure said: “There is no doubt that the traffic congestion and highways infrastructure is something which they will need to look at carefully.
“Beyond that, they will need to see if the development offers the right mix to give the city a better overall offer.”
The development includes 650 homes, an 80-bed care village, hotel, ice skating rink, cinema, a gym, bowling alley, play facilities, business and retail units, and more.
The full scheme will span 900,000 sq ft - almost five times as big as the £75m St Martin’s Quarter development in Lowesmoor, with a completion date of 2017.
On Thursday the committee will be asked to approve a final application for phase one, which includes 131 apartments and a 597 space multi-storey car park.
They will also be asked to back the rest of the project in principle, which is worth well over £100 million.
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