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Thank you for your interest in the proposed new three-storey short-term accommodation development at Castle Road, Kidderminster. This webpage explains more about the scheme, development timescales and how you can provide feedback on the proposals before the application is submitted.

About the Site

The site is on the fringe of Kidderminster Town Centre at a prominent corner junction of Castle Road and New Road. It has the River Stour on its western side and there are businesses and commercial properties surrounding the site. At the moment the site is a small, underused council owned pay and display car park for approximately 38 vehicles. There are other alternative town centre car parks nearby such that the loss of this site would not impact at all on people’s ability to find a suitable parking space around Kidderminster.

The site is within the Green Street Conservation Area. It is close to several heritage assets such as Morton’s Works to the southeast, Caldwall Tower and the adjacent Old Fire Station.

The site has easy access to a range of services and facilities due to its proximity to the town centre. It is in an accessible location. Nearby, there are several bus stops, cycle routes and Kidderminster railway station.

The Proposal

It is proposed to build a three-storey building. This would be for short-term accommodation. There would be 20 ensuite units. These would help the council provide appropriate accommodation for households including families who are trying to secure longer term housing solutions. There will be some specialist units for households with disabilities.

The building would also have a reception, administration facilities, and interview room. There would be a shared kitchen diner with lounge area on each floor. There will be car parking at the back of the building and outside amenity space. This would incorporate hard and soft landscaping, bin storage and cycle parking.

It is proposed there would be a manager and support worker located at the building during the day. They would work with occupants to support them in finding more permanent housing solutions. The occupants would also have access to a financial inclusion service, employment advice and counselling if required. Access into the building and each accommodation unit will be secure.

Highways and Access

The main pedestrian entrance will be at the junction of Castle Road and New Road. It is intended that access for vehicles will be from New Road. There would be a two-way flow of traffic and direct access to the car park. The existing access off Castle Road would be changed to a dedicated pedestrian route into the site. It is also proposed to include a separate pedestrian access next to the car park. This would provide a safe route into the rear of the site.

Any occupants are unlikely to use vehicles. They will generally travel to site by other means. It is proposed there would be five parking spaces, including an accessible space. This number is appropriate for the intended levels of staff and visitors. It is proposed there would be a cycle storage shelter to encourage active travel. A secure bin store is also included as part of the development. This would make sure that servicing movements can take place safely within the site.

Design and Sustainability

The three-storey development would positively address the site’s prominent corner location at the junction of Castle Road and New Road, providing a strong frontage to the highway. The design response respects the site's location near to heritage assets.

The architectural style of the building is appropriate and true to its function as a residential building. It is proposed to use materials that respond to the surrounding site context. It would incorporate a contemporary feel with a simple design, clean lines, multi-tonal brick detail and glazing. It is considered that the building would be an acceptable form of development, scale and design that would contribute to the overall quality of the area.

The outside amenity space has been positioned to create a positive feature of the river. There would be landscaping enhancements along the western boundary of the site. This is to mitigate any harm to protected species and to encourage biodiversity net gain.

The proposed development would be highly sustainable. It would incorporate solar panels on the roof and electric vehicle charging points. It would also draw on energy derived from low-carbon sources in accordance with planning policy.

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Need For The Development

Wyre Forest District Council has a duty to secure accommodation for certain households under the Homelessness Reduction Act. Homelessness is a tragedy for every household who experiences it. The council wants to proactively tackle it by reducing the number of households who become homeless. It wants to provide a safe and suitable home for those whose homelessness can’t be prevented. Homelessness is also one of the most pressing issues facing the Government.

This development will contribute to meeting the short-term accommodation needs of residents in Wyre Forest District. The council has explored various opportunities for meeting these duties over the last few years. This has included working in partnership with Registered Providers, charities, and other providers. The number of those approaching the council as potentially homeless is increasing. It has not been possible to identify other appropriate sites currently in the council’s control that can meet the needs of households requiring temporary accommodation, or in the timescale required, in the way that Castle Road does.

Before moving anyone into the accommodation unit, the council's Housing and Advice team will assess households. They will explain the rules on acceptable behaviour and the other terms and conditions they must meet.

This scheme will offer purpose-built, good quality, well-managed accommodation. It will support opportunities to help people get back on their feet, while the council explores longer-term housing solutions. It will also relieve the financial pressure on the council when demand outstrips supply. If the council does not have enough short-term accommodation spaces, it has to use more expensive commercial options. These can be unsuitable, for example placing a family in B&B accommodation or outside the district altogether. The need to do this will be greatly reduced.

The advantage of developing a purpose-built scheme is that the accommodation can be configured in a way that will meet the requirements of the council and the residents. This is difficult to achieve through conversions of existing properties.

What Happens Next?

The planning application is due to be submitted in June 2022. As it is an application on land owned by the District Council, the final decision will be taken by the Council’s Planning Committee. It is intended that the new facility will open in 2023. This depends on planning permission being granted and the works commencing before the end of the year.

Your Views

If you have any questions on these proposals or would like to make comments about the scheme before the application is submitted, please get in touch. You can:

  • Email us at [email protected];
  • Write to us at Q+A Planning Ltd, The Stables, Paradise Wharf, Ducie Street, Manchester, M1 2JN; or
  • Provide feedback on the proposals using the form below.

Please make sure we receive your comments by Monday 6th June 2022.

    Do you support the proposals for the new three-storey short-term accommodation development at Castle Road, Kidderminster?

    YesYes - with reservationsNo

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your views are very important to us.