Planners have given the thumbs up to a major Wolverhampton regeneration scheme that will help transform a key gateway into the city centre.

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Wolverhampton City Council's Planning Committee approved the application for the Interchange 10 development that will see a new office, leisure and retail block built next to the bus and railway stations.

And the £8.1 million building is already attracting significant interest from retailers and office users with the first ground floor unit about to be prelet to a national family pub restaurant operator.

Work is anticipated to start on site in May and the building is set to be completed in July 2015.

In September last year the council announced an investment of £10.6 million in the Interchange, including constructing Interchange 10 in order to provide new Grade A offices and associated retail/leisure floorspace in the city centre. Neptune Developments, the Council's development partner, submitted a planning application in December 2013.

Interchange 10 will comprise 53,000 square feet (gross) with high quality office accommodation arranged over 3 floors which will be constructed to BREEAM Excellent standard, making it one of the most sustainable buildings in the city. Leisure and retail accommodation comprising 12,400 sq ft (net) will be provided at ground floor level.

Councillor Peter Bilson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Prosperity, said: "This is fantastic news and a major milestone in the redevelopment of this key site.

"The Interchange is a main gateway to the city centre and is therefore a strategic regeneration priority for the Council.

"We are also delighted at the level of interest already being expressed in both the leisure/retail space and the offices at this early stage of the development process.

"This demonstrates that there is confidence in the scheme and we will continue discussions with other potential occupiers."

Rob Mason, Neptune Development's Development Director, said "the granting of planning consent for Interchange 10 sends out a strong message that Wolverhampton City Council is committed to the regeneration of the City Centre which will help greatly in delivering future phases of the Interchange schemes".

The first phase of the Interchange scheme comprising the new bus station, access improvements to the railway station, a commercial building which is home to Sainsbury's Local and the refurbishment of the Queens Building was completed in 2012.

As part of a comprehensive approach to delivering the Interchange master plan, the Council and Neptune, working with Centro, Network Rail, Virgin Trains and the Canal & River Trust, are also finalising proposals to redevelop the railway station, and refurbish and extend the existing multistorey car park and extend the existing Metro line to the new station.

  • released: Wednesday 5 March, 2014