A FORGOTTEN figure from Worcester’s history is at the heart of the city’s largest ever development project, which goes before planners today.

Greenway landscape architects, the firm behind design work on the £100 million Sherriff Street revamp, is vowing to create a landmark to be proud of ahead of today’s crunch vote.

The firm, which has worked on the £300 million east side regeneration of Birmingham and the Second City’s Mailbox shopping plaza, has spent two years drawing up designs for the Sherriff Street complex.

These images, published for the first time today, show how the new-look landscape will pay tribute to the Locke family – which used to manufacture fine china goods on the site.

In 1893, Edward Locke left the old Worcester Royal Porcelain factory to launch his own business.

It went on to become a serious rival for the next 20 years, using a unit which will be retained and refurbished under the current plans which are being submitted by developers Sherriff’s Gate Ltd.

The architects have researched old patents of jugs, coffee pots and sugar containers designed by the Locke family and plan to incorporate them throughout the design of the new complex.

Richard Greenway, of the firm, said: “We’ve worked on some massive projects, but we are Worcester-based, so this is especially exciting.

“We have spent two years working on a landscape people will enjoy being in, will stand up to the rigors of modern daily urban life and celebrate Worcester’s past while also looking to the future.

“We are standing up for the city.”

The site, which is designed to be pedestrian friendly, will also have Locke-ingraved bollards, benches and even cigarette bins.

The buildings on the complex will also have special stainless steel caps on the bottom to protect them from wear and tear.

Mr Greenway said he hoped the scheme would help reignite interest in the area.

“The Sherriff Street area is so dysfunctional at the moment and we really believe in this,” he said.

The development includes 650 new homes, a hotel, cinema, ice skating rink, ten-pin bowling alley, 80-bed care village, a gym, business units, 1,000 parking spaces and open recreational land.

The full scheme will span 900,000 square feet – almost five times as big as the £75 million St Martin’s Quarter development in Lowesmoor.

The project is being split into three phases and today the committee will be asked to approve phase one and outline details for phases two and three.