Controversial shopping centre plan to be unveiled
CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn playing fields into a multi-million pound designer outlet shopping centre are set to be unveiled.
The scheme to build a 200,000 square feet development is proposed for the council-owned Lion Farm playing fields in Oldbury – and could create 2,000 jobs and attract £200 million of investment to the borough.
The proposal has sparked protests by campaigners who claim it will cause traffic chaos and add to air pollution from the nearby M5 motorway. In the past, protesters have picketed Sandwell Council house and held a mock funeral to highlight their opposition to the scheme.
The plans are being put forward by developers Jeremy Knight-Adams as the first step in a formal planning application. A spokeswoman for the company confirmed that 3,000 letters will now be sent out to residents to outline the plans as part of a formal consultation.
The plan includes 90 shops, cafes, restaurants and a cinema, hotel and gym.
It is proposed to build three allweather sports pitches and a training and skills centre to help local people find employment.
The letters contain details of open days where residents can see the plans first-hand and ask questions.
Peter Durnell, a spokesman for the protesters, claimed the scheme had significantly changed.
“New plans appear very different
19 hectares of Sandwell’s precious and rapidly dwindling greenery will still be concreted over
to the ‘high end outlets’ proposed,” he said.
“However, whether to build Aldis and Poundlands, or Guccis and Burberrys, 19 hectares of Sandwell’s precious and rapidly dwindling greenery will still be concreted over.”
He added: “Already badly congested roads will become massively more so, already dangerously high air pollution levels will be further raised, local flooding risks will be increased, and a ‘vital wildlife highway’ will be destroyed.”
A Sandwell Council spokesperson said: “We are aware that the developer is carrying out a public consultation about their proposals in advance of them submitting a planning application.” originally
>An artist’s impression of how the shopping centre on the council-owned Lion Farm playing fields in Oldbury will look