The firm which has taken over the running of Solihull’s Mell Square has hit a stumbling block at the first phase of its regeneration plans for the shopping centre.
Solihull Council has thrown out a plan submitted by IM Properties to demolish buildings in part of High Street and Drury Lane to make way for a restaurant and offices.
English Heritage has objected to the proposal due to the impact the work would have on the conservation area and the scale of the new building.
Members of Solihull Council’s planning committee raised concerns over the size of the four-storey building, which would be situated next to the RBS in Solihull High Street, in place of the former Thomas Cook building.
IM Properties announced it was taking over management of Mell Square two years ago, planning a complete regeneration scheme for the area.
This is the first application submitted by the firm, which was thrown out at last week’s planning meeting. Coun David Bell, chairman of the planning committee, said: “Members do not wish to hold the development up in any way.
“But as some pointed out, members want to make sure they get it right.
“It was felt that the building did not compliment the town centre.
“We hope that the applicant can submit something that we can all agree on so we can help move the project forward.”
The building included a restaurant with a kitchen and other ‘service space’ on the ground floor and three floors of office accommodation above, according to the plans.
Its design would have been glazed with stone cladding and a panel of brick work linking it and the RBS bank from ground to second floor.
IM Properties purchased the 747,000 sq ft development from Aviva for £44 million. It includes 87 retail units, 57 apartments, three office buildings and parking for 252 cars.
The firm is planning a phased redevelopment of the centre.