A new £200 million premium designer outlet centre with the potential to create 2,000 jobs is set to be given further backing next week.
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council’s cabinet is due to meet on Wednesday to discuss the project for 55 acres of council-owned land near junction two of the M5 in Oldbury.
The 200,000 sq ft, designer-led outlet centre would feature top brand stores, cafés, restaurants and new sports facilities.
Council cabinet members are being recommended to approve an extension to an existing, five-year-old agreement with developer Jeremy Knight-Adams which will allow him more time to prepare a full planning application for submission by autumn 2018.
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As well as generating permanent employment once complete, several hundred jobs would also be created or supported during the construction phase.
The project, subject to planning approval, would be built on land at Lion Farm Playing Fields, off Newbury Lane.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration Coun Paul Moore said: “The extension will allow the developer Jeremy Knight-Adams sufficient time to work on his proposals for the site, consult with local people on the plans and compile all necessary reports in order to submit a planning application.”
Mr Knight-Adams added: “I am whole-heartedly committed to delivering an exciting project for the people of Sandwell.
“My team and I look forward to fully engaging with local people and all interested parties as our plans evolve.”
According to a report prepared ahead of next week’s meeting, the council first entered into an agreement with Mr Knight-Adams in December 2012.
The current version of the agreement was then signed between the council and the developer in May 2013 since when Mr Knight-Adams has made “significant progress (and) incurred significant expenditure in securing adjoining land to develop the scheme”.
The report added: “There are, however, still a number of issues to be overcome before any potential development could be considered.
“These include, among other things, securing planning permission, the agreement of statutory bodies, the removal of legal impediments and the upgrade of the highway network.
“Mr Knight-Adams has shown his commitment to developing the site and has already invested significant monies in undertaking numerous feasibility studies.
“To ensure the potential of the site is maximised, and to take advantage of the progress made to date, further time is required to overcome the various constraints and make progress with these issues.
“The nature of such development is it requires a site of this scale in a highly accessible location in order to fulfil its role as a regional attraction.
“A site of this nature and scale is not readily available adjacent to or in close proximity to the existing defined centres in Sandwell.”