A HUGE multi-million-pound redevelopment plan which would completely transform part of the city centre has been labelled “pathetic” and harmful.

The major revamp of Lowesmoor Wharf would include bars, restaurants and cafes, shops, hundreds of apartments and offices to create a new bustling canalside destination in Worcester – but some have criticised the plans for wanting to knock down several buildings and for being too big.

Worcester Civic Society said the work was “totally unsuitable” for the city centre and criticised its “derisible” heritage plans.

“The architects say they have been in discussions for two years with the officers, if this is the case then the city officers have failed Worcester,” it said in its objection to Worcester City Council.

“However, there was at one stage a 20-storey block proposed. The architects state that the Travelodge hotel and St John’s flats are ‘landmark’ buildings which is just crass and insulting and they should never have been built. If we thought Diglis was bad, then this is worse.

“The heritage statement, 26 pages, is totally inadequate for a development of this scale, it is laughable, derisible and pathetic.

“Demolition is against the whole principal and philosophy of the National Planning Policy Framework. Its ethos is 100 per cent sustainability and demolition is not sustainable.

“This whole application should be rejected as totally unsuitable for the centre of Worcester.”

The enormous project, which is estimated to cost around £85 million, includes 271 apartments as well as more than a thousand square metres of space for shops and restaurants and more than 3,500 square metres of office space.

Dozens of new buildings would be built including a 12-storey, nine-storey and a couple of seven-storey buildings.

Several buildings would be demolished to make way for the huge scheme including Vesta Tilley House, The Bridge Inn pub and Lowesmoor Dental Practice.

Campaigners Save Britain’s Heritage said the work would “substantially harm” the character of a historic Cathedral city.

“SAVE objects to this application on the basis the proposals will substantially harm the character and significance of a designated conservation area and involve the unjustified and harmful loss of multiple non-listed heritage assets and protected views.

“We consider the high-density and high-rise approach proposed to regenerate this part of Worcester will substantially harm the overall character of this historic Cathedral city, and in our view, the public benefits the applicant claims the scheme will provide could be delivered in a far more sympathetic, policy compliant and low-density manner, without the need for a 12-storey tower.”

Another objector said the plans would “architecturally rape” the area.

“One might be tempted to think of the Lowesmoor Basin area as rather low key and on the rundown side and certainly it does require some concerted improvement - but such schemes require an intimate physical and social understanding of the site and sensitivity - characteristics utterly absent in this application,” said Dr Malcolm Nixon of Claines in an objection to the council.

“The architectural crudity of the designs is contemptible and their impact on neighbours or those passing by or entering the city centre is appalling.

“There might be an argument for some intervention in the locality, especially if undertaken in a sensitive manner, but this scheme has none of those assets and instead would crudely dominate and ‘architecturally rape’ the conservation area and the neighbourhood.

“To ask for refusal is I am afraid putting this very simply - it should be objected to as strongly as possible with the applicants told to return to their designs for a completely fresh start.”

The Worcester News contacted Lowesmoor Wharf Developments to seek a response to the criticism but nobody was available.