‘Regeneration’ shops empty after a year

Echo: Worried – councillor Aidan McGurran outside the empty shops Worried – councillor Aidan McGurran outside the empty shops

SHOPS in a £14million development hailed as the start of the Pitsea regeneration have been standing empty for a year.

The Station Lane development of 121 one and two-bedroom flats was opened last December. Five shops were also built at the bottom of them, but only one has been filled.

Councillors hailed the scheme, between Pitsea’s Tesco Extra and the town centre, as the start of huge changes.

The £30million Pitsea regeneration, which will be completed next year, has been 15 years in the making. It includes a Morrisons supermarket, a new market area at Northlands Pavement and a new Aldi store.

Aidan McGurran, Labour councillor for Pitsea South East, is concerned the units have not been filled.

He said: “It’s a real worry. We don’t want to see business units empty for any length of time.

“The problem with empty buildings is they often lead to social problems.

“We all want to see a successful regeneration because it’s long overdue, but this is a bit of a disappointing start. It doesn’t inspire confidence.

“The economy is still not very good, so it’s not the best time for businesses to start or expand.

The council needs to be a bit more innovative or consider lowering rents if we want to get these units filled.”

Chelmsford-based commercial estate agent Robert Dewar is looking for traders to rent the units or buy them outright.

Malcolm Buckley, Tory Basildon councillor for regeneration, said he will raise the issue with council officers and Genesis Housing Association, which built the development.

He added: “One of the priorities of the regeneration was to increase the number of houses, and the Station Lane development has succeeded in that aspect.

“It’s disappointing the commercial units are still not occupied after a year, but there may be reasons why. We need to look at the circumstances.

“As the regeneration concludes, wewould expect the level of interest to increase fairly rapidly.

There are options for all sorts of traders.”

Comments (5)

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6:58am Thu 5 Dec 13

whateverhappened says...

What shop keeper in their right mind would open a shop between one of the countries biggest tesco and a brand new morrisons, more homes would have been a better use of the units
What shop keeper in their right mind would open a shop between one of the countries biggest tesco and a brand new morrisons, more homes would have been a better use of the units whateverhappened

9:06am Thu 5 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

What were thinking, building these palaces? Pitsea's original shops had cheap rates, were in demand as there wasn't any others, purpose built, by non thinking councils, who fail time and again, to grasp the basics of retail needs.
What were thinking, building these palaces? Pitsea's original shops had cheap rates, were in demand as there wasn't any others, purpose built, by non thinking councils, who fail time and again, to grasp the basics of retail needs. Nowthatsworthknowing

9:52am Thu 5 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

whateverhappened wrote:
What shop keeper in their right mind would open a shop between one of the countries biggest tesco and a brand new morrisons, more homes would have been a better use of the units
One of them is being used by an estate agent.

If the rest aren't taken up soon I suggest they turn them into residential units.


Same could be said for the retail units beneath the new flats at the junction of Broadmayne and Southernhaye by the traffic lights so it is not just a Pitsea problem
[quote][p][bold]whateverhappened[/bold] wrote: What shop keeper in their right mind would open a shop between one of the countries biggest tesco and a brand new morrisons, more homes would have been a better use of the units[/p][/quote]One of them is being used by an estate agent. If the rest aren't taken up soon I suggest they turn them into residential units. Same could be said for the retail units beneath the new flats at the junction of Broadmayne and Southernhaye by the traffic lights so it is not just a Pitsea problem Howard Cháse

12:04pm Thu 5 Dec 13

basguy68 says...

Im sure if the shops at the Broadmaine development, had a bit of parking outside would of been a Tesco or Sainsburys local.But with no parking not viable,,i do think the the shops underneath the new homes is a mistake ,i agree with whateverhappned.
Im sure if the shops at the Broadmaine development, had a bit of parking outside would of been a Tesco or Sainsburys local.But with no parking not viable,,i do think the the shops underneath the new homes is a mistake ,i agree with whateverhappned. basguy68

9:59pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Discouraged says...

Unfortunately, the people at the council have not understood that we no longer are a nation of shopkeepers. We buy online and the only use of some shops is to look at the item and then try it out and then, if we like it: buy it online, or even at a boot sale which are just huge open air shops.
Unfortunately, the people at the council have not understood that we no longer are a nation of shopkeepers. We buy online and the only use of some shops is to look at the item and then try it out and then, if we like it: buy it online, or even at a boot sale which are just huge open air shops. Discouraged

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