AMBITIOUS plans to regenerate the River and canal-sides in Stourbridge and make the town more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists are included in the lastest masterplan for the area.

Dudley Council has published a proposed final version of the Stourbridge Area Action Plan (AAP) which, when adopted, will help guide new investment in and around the town centre over the coming years.

It is hoped it will help to spearhead new development and bring jobs to the town.

The document sets out where new shops, offices, traffic and transport improvements, public spaces and new homes should be located in the town, which is currently undergoing the biggest revamp in a generation now that Tesco has embarked on a £50million scheme to redevelop the Crown Centre.

New pathways alongside the River Stour and new pedestrian crossing points on parts of Stourbridge ring road to help make the town centre more accessible by foot or bicycle are among the ideas included in the regeneration plan.

New green space is also proposed alongside the banks of the River Stour to encourage wildlife, create an attractive green landscape and promote outdoor recreation such as walking and cycling.

The plan also sets out to improve the Stourbridge Wharf area, by the Stourbridge branch canal, and highlights proposals to improve visitor attraction facilities and canal-based tourism.

Councillor Angus Adams, Dudley’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “This plan is a key element to securing ongoing investment and jobs in Stourbridge.

“By identifying future areas for redevelopment and environmental improvement, the plan will provide the certainty that the development industry is looking for when formulating proposals in this difficult climate, and will allow us to build upon the confidence and momentum which the current major investment by Tesco has brought.”

Consultation on the proposed final version of the plan starts on Tuesday March 20 and runs until May 1 - and will include an event in the Ryemarket shopping centre on Friday March 23, running from 11am to 4pm.

Copies of the plan can be downloaded in whole or part at by clicking this link.

Paper copies can be viewed at borough libraries or at council offices - 3 St James’s Road, Dudley, and Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, during the six-week consultation period.

The final draft will be sent to the Secretary of State for examination and, if it goes ahead, it will be adopted in spring 2013.