WORCESTER'S main shopping and business body has welcomed a proposal to revamp the old fire station HQ - saying it is glad the site won't become a "white elephant".

Adrian Field, from Worcester BID (Business Improvement District), says the plans by London-based developers will breathe new life into the building.

As your Worcester News revealed on Tuesday, Ash Mill Development wants to turn the Deansway site into a mixed-use complex including 22 flats and either shops or a bar-restaurant complete with office space or a gym fronting Copenhagen Street.

The planning application, which has been handed to Worcester City Council, has dashed hopes of it becoming a boutique hotel.

The council has published a development brief marketing its potential for hotel use but Halls Commercial had no takers.

Mr Field said he believes the new proposal would create a better link between the High Street and riverside.

"Maybe it's because of Premier Inns being at the cricket ground, the market has looked at it and decided 'no'," he said.

"There's been a lot of false dawns in Worcester over hotels, maybe the hotel companies have done their work and feel at the moment that it doesn't stack up.

"There's a good commercial opportunity there and we'll have to see how it goes, but there's very little retail down there apart from some at the top of Deansway.

"I think it's a good thing that a possible use has been found for it, it won't end up being a white elephant for a long time, and that's important.

"What it will do is create that link between the High Street and the river, a lot of Worcester tends to lead north to south rather than east to west.

"The two are only 200 metres apart but a lot of tourists down the riverside may not realise the High Street is so close."

Back in 2013 the fire service put the old station up for sale, and it vacated the building back in May to move to its new purpose-built complex at Great Western Business Park, Tolladine.

The developer says the Copenhagen Street-facing section would either get shops or a restaurant-bar, but not both, while the strip fronting Deansway will either become offices or an alternative commercial use.

Ash Mill is behind many quality mixed-use developments currently ongoing around the country including 18 townhouses inside an old listed building in Warwick.