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Regeneration bosses slammed for slow progress on Laindon centre plans
REGENERATION bosses at Basildon Council have been slammed for not bringing any plans forward on the future of the Laindon centre quickly enough.
In August Malcolm Buckley, councillor with responsibility for regeneration, said in the Echo if property firm Wrenbridge didn’t seal a deal for the future of Laindon by September council bosses would step in and buy the shopping centre and bring in a new developer.
Talks have been going on since 1996 about renovating the shopping centre and no plan has ever been finally agreed.
Nigel Smith, leader of the Labour group, said he was disgusted nothing had happened and that the council was just full of false promises, at a recent full council meeting.
Mr Buckley defended his position and revealed that the next step of the regeneration plan would be revealed early in the new year.
Mr Smith said: “I live near Laindon and I use the town centre up to three times a week and I know that traders who are working really hard in the town just want to know what is going on.
“This is their livlihoods we are talking about and they are sick of these broken promises. We were told that if nothing was done by September that the council would step in and buy the land.
“This is just another false promise and I am angry and really disappointed with the response I got. It didn’t tell me anything new and Mr Buckley has once again just led on the people of Laindon.
“I want to know what the council is going to do, not that they sympathise with us. The residents are sick and tired and want to know clearly when and if anything is going to happen because at the moment it doesn’t look like much is on the agenda.”
Mr Buckley defended himself at the council meeting and said that a compulsory purchase order was a long process and he would only start looking into the idea in September.
He said: “The matter of the Laindon centre is one which concerns this council very much and we are very much about forward thinking development.
“I said that I would look at the possibility for a CPO of the site in September, I did not say that it would be implemented in September, it takes a long time to take that type of action and does not just happen overnight.
“There will be a report coming to cabinet in January or February concerning the future of the Laindon centre, we are having conversations with developers as we speak and we are meeting with some this week.”
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