£1bn Basildon town centre plan lacks ‘vision’

Echo: £1bn Basildon town centre plan lacks ‘vision’ £1bn Basildon town centre plan lacks ‘vision’

BILLION-POUND plans to regenerate Basildon town centre have been slammed by opposition councillors who say it ‘lacks vision’.

Nigel Smith, leader of the town’s Labour Party, said he is disappointed with the Basildon Town Centre Masterplan which was rubber-stamped by the Tory administration a year ago.

Last December, Basildon Council agreed the blueprint which aims to improve the town centre by encouraging more restaurants and shops to open in the town centre.

Over the last 12 months, plans to move the market to St Martin’s Square have been brought forward and South Essex College has been given permission to build a new campus on the site of the old market in Market Square.

The next stage of building, in Acacia Park, to ultimately bring 244 homes and a boulevard link between Gloucester Park and the town centre, has also begun.

But Mr Smith said: “Frankly, I’m disappointed if that’s what regeneration of the town centre means.

“Why would you want to spoil St Martin’s Square, which is a lovely area, with a hotchpotch market?

“And I’m not sure the current market site is the right location for the college.

“If that is what the regeneration stands at so far then that is disappointing. I’m not optimistic for the future as I think this lacks vision.

“I don’t know if people were consulted on these plans, but the council needs to talk to them.”

Mr Smith added that he felt a better location for the college, which is due to be built in 2015, would have been in Great Oaks or even where Acacia Park is now inGloucester Park. The £1billion plans are being financed by Barratt Wilson Bowden, and the Tory administration insists that the scheme will not cost the taxpayer anything.

Mr Smith, who represents Lee Chapel North, accused the authority of being at the mercy of developers.

He said: “We couldn’t have an improvement of Pitsea without a dirty big supermarket instead of a swimming pool, yet nothing is happening at the Laindon Centre  because no one can make a profit out of it. The council needs to assert itself.”

Phil Rackley, who is the leader of the independent Basildon Labour group, has the town centre in his St Martin’s Ward.

He said: “I think moving the market into the town centre will be to the detriment of the town centre as it’s a lovely open space.

“I think moving the college to the town centre is deeply flawed too as there is no parking. And this is for a college that is going to have hundreds of pupils.

“This Tory administration has been in charge for ten years, but there has not been much regeneration going on.”

 

 

Comments (2)

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11:54am Fri 24 Jan 14

Howard Cháse says...

Buy Trafford House site up and have the college there.


halve town centre retail units and consolidate. Use the resultant space to build housing thereby saving greenspaces from development.

Turn Brooke House into a Holiday Inn or similar.


Get rid of this Tory controlled Council
Buy Trafford House site up and have the college there. halve town centre retail units and consolidate. Use the resultant space to build housing thereby saving greenspaces from development. Turn Brooke House into a Holiday Inn or similar. Get rid of this Tory controlled Council Howard Cháse

12:30pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Dan_ says...

While there might be holes in the master plan, I think Nigel is the one at risk of seeming like he lacks vision!

“We couldn’t have an improvement of Pitsea without a dirty big supermarket instead of a swimming pool, yet nothing is happening at the Laindon Centre because no one can make a profit out of it. The council needs to assert itself.”

Well yeah, you want someone to come along and regenerate an entire shopping centre and just break even? or do it for free? Wake up. The only other means of getting the cash together would be...taxpayer / council bank account? Obviously not going to happen. Any idea what it would cost to regenerate that shopping centre given that 1 swimming pool / gym cost what £38m? The answer is 'a big big number'.

Also, a supermarket wanting to set up shop is a good sign that at least 1# business has confidence in that area as a potential place to generate business. It will draw people to the area (because supermarkets are as much a hub as any park, or swimming pool) Other businesses will take confidence in this and set up shop too. In turn, more and more people will have confidence to invest money in the area, including housing developers.

"hotchpotch market?"

Way to go on insulting ordinary people who both run and buy from the market, which by the way has lasted at least 50 years (so must be doing something right?).

“And I’m not sure the current market site is the right location for the college.

Please at least attempt to qualify this statement with at least some opinion as to why?

“I don’t know if people were consulted on these plans, but the council needs to talk to them.”

Proves he is completely out of touch with the entire process.

“This Tory administration has been in charge for ten years, but there has not been much regeneration going on.”

...and finally we get to the real point of this gripe of his, some lame attempt at trying to convince people that his party would be better in charge.
While there might be holes in the master plan, I think Nigel is the one at risk of seeming like he lacks vision! “We couldn’t have an improvement of Pitsea without a dirty big supermarket instead of a swimming pool, yet nothing is happening at the Laindon Centre because no one can make a profit out of it. The council needs to assert itself.” Well yeah, you want someone to come along and regenerate an entire shopping centre and just break even? or do it for free? Wake up. The only other means of getting the cash together would be...taxpayer / council bank account? Obviously not going to happen. Any idea what it would cost to regenerate that shopping centre given that 1 swimming pool / gym cost what £38m? The answer is 'a big big number'. Also, a supermarket wanting to set up shop is a good sign that at least 1# business has confidence in that area as a potential place to generate business. It will draw people to the area (because supermarkets are as much a hub as any park, or swimming pool) Other businesses will take confidence in this and set up shop too. In turn, more and more people will have confidence to invest money in the area, including housing developers. "hotchpotch market?" Way to go on insulting ordinary people who both run and buy from the market, which by the way has lasted at least 50 years (so must be doing something right?). “And I’m not sure the current market site is the right location for the college. Please at least attempt to qualify this statement with at least some opinion as to why? “I don’t know if people were consulted on these plans, but the council needs to talk to them.” Proves he is completely out of touch with the entire process. “This Tory administration has been in charge for ten years, but there has not been much regeneration going on.” ...and finally we get to the real point of this gripe of his, some lame attempt at trying to convince people that his party would be better in charge. Dan_

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