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The stories behind the Kingshurst regeneration – and what happens next

The long-awaited regeneration of Kingshurst Parade will see millions invested to develop the area over the next four years.

The redevelopment programme is set to complete in winter 2025 and promises “modern new homes, shops and a space for families to enjoy”.

This week, public drop-in sessions took place to get residents’ views on the revamp of the Solihull area.

The council has also released new concept images showing what the Kingshurst “village centre” will look like along with an updated masterplan for the scheme.

Read more:New CGI images and masterplan for new-look Solihull village centre

The latest layout will form the basis for a full planning application, which is due to be submitted in late October.

But one element of the major redevelopment is already taking place.

Landowners and unit holders have been issued with what is called a compulsory purchase order, or CPO for short.

This allows public bodies to force homeowners to sell up for the purpose of regeneration.

Some have already moved out, but others have found themselves struggling when it comes to their next steps.

Kingshurst regeneration Compulsory Purchase Order

A publically available document, released in March 2021, shows every piece of land being purchased by the council for the purpose of “facilitating the development, redevelopment or improvement of Kingshurst Village Centre”.

The document describes every piece of land which will be purchased by Solihull Council.

An accompanying map also highlights the locations set to be bought up.

Map referred to in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull (Kingshurst Village) Compulsory Purchase Order 2021

Almost all of Kingshurst Parade is highlighted pink, including ground floor shops and first-floor flats, garages, the nearby car park on Church Close, houses, Kingshurst Clinic and the medical centre.

The human stories behind the Kingshurst regeneration

Solihull Council says the Kingshurst regeneration programme, which is set to be complete in winter 2025, will create “modern new homes, shops and a space for families to enjoy”.

But for many in need of a home now or currently trying to run their business, it has thrown up both challenges and joy.

We spoke with a mum with two young children who told how she was facing homelessness as a result of the regeneration.

Kingshurst Shopping Parade, which is about to be redeveloped in a multi-million pound transformation
Kingshurst Shopping Parade, which is about to be redeveloped in a multi-million pound transformation

The anonymous woman, in her twenties, said her private landlord was being forced to sell his property as the area’s shopping hub was revamped.

But her personal circumstances, combined with a long waiting list for council housing, mean she could soon be without a proper home.

Read more: Mum with ‘no-where to go’ as big Kingshurst revamp forces her eviction

Just a stone’s throw away, though, a local optician spoke of his joy as he moved on from his “dreadful” premises which were plagued by damp.

Ian Hadfield, who has practised at Kingshurst Parade for 44 years, said the council had provided him with a more up-to-date unit as part of redevelopment plans.

Ian Hadfield, who has practised at Kingshurst Parade for 44 years
Ian Hadfield, who has practised at Kingshurst Parade for 44 years

He is moving into the new space as a temporary measure and eventually hopes to set up shop at a brand new medical centre in five years time.

It’s understood, however, other shops are struggling to agree terms with the council.

Read more: Optician’s joy as he is moved out of crumbling Kingshurst premises after 44 years

We also spoke with Michelle and Matthew Love Bicknell, who say they are set to lose their family home because of regeneration plans.

The couple, who live with their six children aged between eight and 15, said they were served an eviction notice after their landlord was forced to sell up.

Michelle and her family are waiting for the Council to help them with a new home
Michelle and her family are waiting for the Council to help them with a new home

But they said they couldn’t afford to continue renting privately and urged the council to find them a house.

“They want us to move out and just go. What do I do with six kids and a disabled wife?” Matthew said.

“The council are taking us out of our house where we have been for five and a half years so the council should house us.”

Read more: Family of eight beg council for house as home set to be demolished

What Solihull Council say

Kingshurst Village Centre will be redesigned to a high standard so that it offers a range of local services and plays a strong role in building further social capital and local pride, according to Solihull Council.

When asked about the case of the anonymous mum, the local authority’s housing arm said it was “unable to discuss individual cases”, but added its officers would “discuss a range of housing options on a case by case basis” to help families.

In the case of the family of eight, a spokesperson for Solihull Community Housing said there would be challenges ahead.

“As a result of the development a very small number of families currently in private rented accommodation do sadly stand to lose their homes,” the spokesperson said.

“We understand that moving home can be a difficult time, and as such we have dedicated officers to work with affected families. Officers will discuss a range of housing options on a case by case basis to help families find suitable alternative accommodation.

“The challenge is greater with larger-sized families as the availability of four or five-bed properties is extremely limited. We are though working closely with those affected to support them in finding alternative accommodation that will meet their needs.

“We have made those families in private rented accommodation aware that they are eligible for up to £2,000 support with rent in advance and deposit if they move to another private rented property.

Locals can share their views on the new plans and leave comments by taking part in a consultation survey. The survey will close on Sunday 10 October.

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