PLANS to transform Redditch railway station have taken a major step forward after Worcestershire County Council’s Cabinet endorsed proposals to acquire the land plans say it may require, using compulsory purchase orders if necessary.
The station proposal, dubbed ‘Gamechanger 2’ by county chiefs, will see the delivery of a new two storey station with an expanded waiting room, new retail facilities and toilets.
Its envisaged the new-look station would form the hub of the proposed new ‘Railway Quarter’ in the Redditch town plan.
A report to council says that as such it would provide a transport interchange ‘including rail and bus services, car parking, taxi drop off/pick-up, cycle access and safe storage, and direct, well-signed pedestrian routes within and between the Railway Quarter and Town Centre’.
The plans also include the intention to put in a second platform and extend the existing one to 210metres.
The town currently can receive three trains an hour from Birmingham but studies show this could be increased to four in the future.
The redevelopment plans currently encompass the takeaways and restaurants fronting Unicorn Hill between the station entrance and the bridge over to Bromsgrove Road, and the Golden Cross pub and its car park.
They also include land on the other side of the track, currently used as a car park.
If these are deemed to be needed to complete the development, the aim is to acquire the sites through negotiation but council officers now have the power to use compulsory purchase orders if necessary.
County councillor Juliet Brunner (Ind/ Arrow Valley South) sought reassurance from Coun Ken Pollock, cabinet member with responsibility for economy and infrastructure that all measures to ensure the safety of the travelling public would be taken.
Of the planned development, she said: “It is a really exciting project and I am delighted to have had a small part in its development.”
Fellow Redditch County Coun Jane Potter (Con/ Redditch South) added: “We make no apology for our ambitions for Redditch to thrive and become a destination for business, leisure and retail.”