A PRESIDENT of a town’s society has spoken out on the planned future of a defunct department store building.

We reported last week how a mystery buyer has been found, for the Brays building in Worcester Road, Malvern, who wants to retain the iconic external facade including the orange sign.

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Nick Carroll, of Nick Carroll Architects based in Worcester, who is leading the design for the refurbishment of the building, is putting together plans to split the old department store on the ground floor into three or four shops, including one or two eateries, making use of the outside terrace space.

John Harcup, president of the Malvern Civic Society said: “ The plan to retain the flats and keep the facade is a good thing as the building is so iconic.

“If it was to change it would be a great loss to Malvern’s cultural landscape.

“I welcome planned cafes and restaurants but I think there should be a vetting process as I wouldn’t want to see a fast food restaurant there but I would welcome a wine bar.

“As a customer of Brays when it was open, I want to see boutique shops selling items which Brays sold in the building.”

Our readers have also commented about what changes they want to see.

Pauline Wolfe said on malverngazette.co.uk: “A big fruit and veg store with no wrapping used and lots of ecological, reusable items.”

Nakita Barratt said: “Primark - it would bring a lot more people to that part of the town.”

Mike Lane said: “Lots of different charity shops, a sort of collective as there are so few in Malvern.”

Rose J Gwilt said: “Please don’t say a Burger King or a KFC.”

Sally Sunter said: “An indoor market with local fruit and veg, butchers, fish & wholefoods, a permanent farmers market.”

Jon Cage said: “A board game cafe.”

Elizabeth Anetts said: “One of the local microbreweries could open a bar here.”

Eddie Charko said: “Aldi - Malvern needs an Aldi.”

Chris Kyte said: “Lots of local independent shops selling all kinds of items, good quality products.”

Architect Mr Carroll said: “My client wants me to take a front seat for publicity and doesn’t want to be named.

“But he grew up in the town and wants to safeguard the heritage front of this iconic building.”