M&S New kids on the block

It probably won’t shock you to hear that the ‘meteor ford’ site has been under debate and under construction for more than ten years now.

We have waited, wondered and weighed in and finally the talk is coming to fruition, Marks and Spencers will be opening its doors at the end of the summer. Wherever your vote for the plot resided, we can (at least) breath a common sigh of relief that the building looking down st Marys row is no longer a decaying petrol station.

Initial concerns for the plot in the neighbourly gabble and on social media were of Moseley potentially losing its character. In response the architects who worked on the plans for the new Marks and Spencer building came up with the gradual fade from mock tudor to minimalist cladding which turns the corner onto Oxford rd and subtly mirrors the stonework of Calvary Church. At street level the design carries the traditional Moseley style shop fronts, and in a few years of fickle British weather will likely be indiscernible from its authentic counterparts.

‘Will it have a positive impact locally?’ has been another query raised. Well along with its attractive new look the project is claiming to provide a lot of job opportunities, 14 flats, 84 parking spaces, impressive opening hours (8am – 8pm Monday through Saturday, 10:30am – 4:30pm Sundays) and a 45 seat cafe. Whether or not this will impact on the much loved independent coffee spots in Moseley such as Damascena, Sapori Di Sole and DeMaines remains to be seen but independent businesses have been able to thrive beside large chains before, and Moseley patrons are a loyal bunch. With any luck, the allure of such an exciting new supermarket will draw in new crowds and introduce them to all that Moseley has to offer.

So after a decade of umming and arring about what kind of business would fit in best with our community – and loudly shunning Tesco, nobody’s judging – perhaps it’s time to take a nurturing standpoint and welcome the new guys in town, funky-little-suburb style.

Written by Ruby Watson