Plans unveiled for multi-million pound Oldbury outlet village
The controversial scheme would include shops, restaurants, a hotel, two on-site 3G pitches and a tourist information centre.
Controversial plans to build a multi-million pound leisure and outlet shopping development on playing fields in the Black Country have been unveiled.
The scheme, by developers Jeremy Knight-Adams, could create 2,000 new jobs and would see the facility built on land near the Lion Farm Estate, in Oldbury.
The plans include more than 90 outlet shops, cafes and restaurants along with a variety of leisure opportunities, including a fully interactive entertainment complex with activities from climbing and virtual paragliding, to adventure golf and soft play.
The leisure offering will also include a cinema, hotel and gym.
It also features a range of community facilities including two on-site 3G pitches for all year use, reprovision of exisiting pitches with high-quality replacements, a dedicated community hub, a Black Country Tourist Information Centre, a training and skills hub, a crèche and exhibition venue.
The proposals have previously sparked protests by campaigners who claim it will cause traffic chaos and add to air pollution from the nearby M5 motorway.
In the past, protestors have picketed Sandwell Council house and held a mock funeral to highlight their opposition to the scheme.
Developer Mr Knight-Adams said: “If approved, the proposals will create a fantastic leisure and outlet shopping experience in Sandwell.
“The development will be a gateway into the area, putting Sandwell firmly on the map and will provide a dedicated Tourist Information Centre to ensure that visitors make the most of their time in the Black Country.
"We are committed to ensuring that local people benefit from the development whether by the savings and choice offered by outlet shopping, participating in new healthy activities, or by finding employment.
“We will work with local colleges and businesses to improve access to high quality skills and training. The consultation will shape our plans by helping us to understand what people want from the development.”
Former UKIP West Midlands mayoral candidate Peter Durnell, a spokesman for the protestors, claimed the scheme had significantly changed.
He said: “New plans appear very different to the ‘high-end outlets’ originally proposed.
"However, whether to build Aldis and Poundlands, or Guccis and Burberrys, 19 hectares of Sandwell’s precious and rapidly dwindling greenery will still be concreted over.
“Already badly congested roads will become massively more so, already dangerously high air pollution levels will be further raised, local flooding risks will be increased, and a ‘vital wildlife highway’ will be destroyed.”
Details have now also been announced for public consultation events next month – ahead of a formal planning application being submitted.
"They will take place on Monday, December 3 at Portway Lifestyle Centre between 2pm and 7pm; Thursday, December 6 at West Bromwich Community Centre between 2pm and 6.45pm; and Friday, December 7 at Brasshouse Community Centre in Smethwick between 2pm and 7pm.
The plans can also be viewed by visiting www.lionfarmproposals.com from today.
Members of the public may also contact the project team directly by calling 0844 556 3002 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for submitting comments is Friday, January 11.