Council won’t rush into decision on shopping complex site

Malvern Gazette: DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY: Trinity House and the Cornmarket car park sites. DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY: Trinity House and the Cornmarket car park sites.

COUNCIL chiefs say they won’t be held to ransom over dreams of a new multi-million pound shopping complex in Worcester – insisting they will only sell to the right bidder.

Duncan Sharkey, the city council’s managing director, says he is prepared to play a waiting game over Trinity House and the Cornmarket car park.

As your Worcester News revealed in August, the entire plot of land is up for sale to a major developer prepared to turn it into a new retail and leisure attraction.

It is hoped the likes of John Lewis, Gap and Zara could be tempted to come to Worcester in an ambitious bid to catapult the city up the retail league table.

Mr Sharkey says the city council wants the “right type of developer” to take over the site, given its key location off City Walls Road.

He has ruled out a quickfire sale of the land, saying if it ends up in the wrong hands it could backfire.

“I’m not convinced this is something which will happen relatively quickly,” he said.

“It’s about making sure the right type of developer comes in and makes the best use of that site.

"The key thing for us is that we want to see a really good link made to St Martin’s Quarter and Lowesmoor.

“It’s a great retail environment and some of the improvements there have helped the city as a whole.

“Inward investment discussions are ongoing but this isn’t something we must rush into.”

The city council owns the 85-space Cornmarket car park, while Worcestershire County Council owns Trinity House, which has been largely mothballed in recent months.

Trinity House used to house the archives and archaeology department, but it moved to The Hive last year, leaving the site neglected.

Under the new deal, a developer would create a shopping complex on the 62,000 sq ft site, with both councils making millions from a joint sale.

The city council has placed a large banner on the site of Trinity House advertising the land for sale.

In September, it also appointed Halls Wilkins Commercial to market the site.

Comments (6)

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9:20am Thu 19 Dec 13

CJH says...

"...insisting they will only sell to the right bidder." Will that be the first one to come up with the cash?
"...insisting they will only sell to the right bidder." Will that be the first one to come up with the cash? CJH

9:21am Thu 19 Dec 13

Hwicce says...

Optimistic words but are there ANY developers interested?

The site doesn't actually seem that big, Trinity House would just about manage one decent store, the car park is a bit long and thin to put anything useful on.

I'm not even convinced about the "key location" description, it's in a bit of a backwater area of town really.

And do we really need some overpriced clothes stores?
Optimistic words but are there ANY developers interested? The site doesn't actually seem that big, Trinity House would just about manage one decent store, the car park is a bit long and thin to put anything useful on. I'm not even convinced about the "key location" description, it's in a bit of a backwater area of town really. And do we really need some overpriced clothes stores? Hwicce

9:34am Thu 19 Dec 13

voledog says...

It would be great to see some newer, better quality empty retail units in the city centre. A lot of the vacant ones we have at the moment are starting to look rather tatty.
It would be great to see some newer, better quality empty retail units in the city centre. A lot of the vacant ones we have at the moment are starting to look rather tatty. voledog

10:58am Thu 19 Dec 13

Ted Elgar says...

The aerial photo really highlights why the car park, the road and the other car park opposite aught to be returned to being a centre point city square..
What better way to create a link between the new development and the town centre?

The more obvious place to put a major department store is opposite the cathedral where the current horror of an NCP car park sits.

Interesting that in the 60s you could get a compulsory purchase on a lich gate, but now you can get rid of NCP.
The aerial photo really highlights why the car park, the road and the other car park opposite aught to be returned to being a centre point city square.. What better way to create a link between the new development and the town centre? The more obvious place to put a major department store is opposite the cathedral where the current horror of an NCP car park sits. Interesting that in the 60s you could get a compulsory purchase on a lich gate, but now you can get rid of NCP. Ted Elgar

3:09pm Thu 19 Dec 13

BadgerMash says...

The city is desperately short of truly affordable rented housing. It
is not short of chain stores or empty shops. The solution is obvious.
The city is desperately short of truly affordable rented housing. It is not short of chain stores or empty shops. The solution is obvious. BadgerMash

4:48pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Andy_R says...

By "right developer", I assume the council means one stupid enough to build a load more empty shops that nobody wants to rent right next to the brand new empty shops that nobody wants to rent over the road?
By "right developer", I assume the council means one stupid enough to build a load more empty shops that nobody wants to rent right next to the brand new empty shops that nobody wants to rent over the road? Andy_R
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