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Council won’t rush into decision on shopping complex site
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.