DEVELOPERS behind the controversial Heart of Shirley project have announced the
£100 million scheme will not begin until at least mid-2010. Proposals include an Asda Superstore, cafes and restaurants and around 200 apartments. Cathrina Hulse asked shoppers and businesses in Shirley what this latest announcement means for the area.
Retired couple, Arthur and Sylvia Shuter from Hall Green thought the plans should not be halted. “ I think they should press on with it” said Arthur. The more they can do the more it helps the area. There will be more jobs and getting people into work. Wife, Sylvia agreed. “We were pleased to hear of the plans but it is awful for the shopkeepers though, not knowing. “
Enjoying a sliver of sunshine were mum and daughter, Lesley and Scarlett Buss . Lesley from Shakespeare Drive was concerned for local traders. “It’s a lot of messing about and it upsets residents and shopkeepers as well. It keeps them hanging in the balance. It’s a bit unfair. Obviously there have been a lot of closures so new builds will bring in employment. We need a revamp.”
Hoping to entice hungry shoppers and workers on the Stratford Road, Matthew French was preparing baked potatoes for his mobile business, Dinner Jackets . The Beechwood Park Road resident was worried about the impact a large supermarket would have on his trade. “There’s no way of knowing what will happen. I haven’t really been affected over thec last two years but the shops further down are probably worried.Times aren’t easy for any business at the moment.”
A fixture in Shirley for 31 years, butcher John Owen has seen many changes in his time. The Cheswick Green resident has remained largely unaffected tradewise by the proposals but is concerned about parking. “It’s a recession so everyone is quiet. The scheme is too big for the area and the parking will be a problem. We are all right here but if you have got a shoe shop or a clothing shop then you will be worried. There are eight supermarkets along this stretch of road already.”