THE controversial Heart of Shirley development scheme is very much on course - despite the recession.
That was the message from Solihull Council and the developer, Shirley Advance, after a meeting of the council cabinet last Thursday, held behind closed doors.
Earlier this month developer Shirley Advance had said the £100 million project had been put on hold until at least mid-2010 because the economic downturn.
But on Thursday a statement issued by the council said it and the developer were committed to the regeneration project but changes would have to be made.
The development will still be anchored by an Asda superstore, but the smaller stores will be one storey instead of two, as planned originally.
Also, there will be no temporary car park on part of Shirley Park, with parking provided either elsewhere.
And the plan for 200-plus apartments has been amended to include some family homes.
The revised plans will be finalised and then submitted for planning permission. If this is granted, the council says work could start during the summer of 2010.
Councillor Ken Meeson, leader of the council, said: “We have made a promise to the people of Shirley that we will breathe life into the town centre, and we will deliver on that promise.”