Residents are being given the chance to help shape the future of high streets across South Worcestershire.

A telephone survey of some 1,800 people is being carried out as part of a Retail Study commissioned to inform the ongoing South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) review.

Researchers will be contacting residents by phone to ask them to take part in an in-depth interview which will explore what they want from their high street now and in 20 years time. Residents will be chosen to ensure the sample is representative of the population as a whole.

Telephone interviews will take place between 14 January and 8 February. Residents not selected to take part in the interviews can also submit their views and ideas by emailing the SWDP team.

High streets across the country are going through a challenging time largely due to changes in shopping habits, with more of us buying products online.

Through the review process councils across South Worcestershire – Worcester City, Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils – will be examining how planning policy can shape the development of the high streets of the future.

Councillor Melanie Baker, who chairs the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “Our high streets are in a state of transition and we know they could look very different in the future. This study will be invaluable in helping us develop planning policies aimed at ensuring our high streets continue to thrive and remain places people want to visit and spend time in.”

The study forms one part of the overall review process which will extend the current SWDP up until 2041.The final document will set out how the three councils will meet demand for another 14,000 new homes across South Worcestershire as well as 169 hectares of employment land to support companies to grow and create new jobs.

This is on top of the 28,400 new homes and 300 hectares of employment land already set to be delivered by 2030 as part of the current SWDP.