Future of centre to be decided next month

THE options for the future of the long-awaited redevelopment of the Laindon Shopping Centre will be laid bare to councillors next month.

They are expected to include a proposal for Basildon Council to forcibly buy the dilapidated shopping centre in conjunction with a developer to finally kickstart the regeneration.

The move comes amidst growing frustration that no progress has yet been made to redevelop the site, despite the fact that it has been mooted since 1996.

Malcolm Buckley, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said he is producing a report for February.

It will set out all the options for the future of the centre and members of the council’s cabinet will be able to vote on their preferred option.

Mr Buckley said the council will only compulsorily purchase the site from its current owner, Laindon Regeneration, if an alternative developer can be secured to pay for it. He would not be drawn on whether a firm has been lined up.

He said: “We are having some serious discussions on the future of the centre.

“If we go for a compulsory purchase order it would not be a case of the council buying it, that would not be feasible, instead the purchase would be in conjunction with a new developer.

“The discussions are ongoing with the centre’s owners at the present time, we are doing everything we can to move this forward.”

Mr Buckley said he understood the frustration of the centre’s traders who have been left in limbo for the last 16 years.

But, despite his reassurances, things are not happening quickly enough for residents, traders and Laindon councillors.

John Scarola, Labour councillor for Laindon Park, accused Basildon Council’s Tory administration of making “empty promises”.

He said: “The Tories have been in power for 10 years and are regenerating Pitsea and Basildon, but we in Laindon feel like we are being treated like second-class citizens.

“The Tories shouldn’t promise things and do nothing about it.
 

“The Laindon Shopping Centre is a disgrace, it looks like a bombsite and you wouldn’t send your worst enemy there, the residents and traders deserve better.”

Plans to rennovate the Laindon Shopping Centre have been on the cards since 1996.

Laindon Regeneration bought the site in 2007, and attempted to sell it to property firm Wrenbridge last year. But that deal was put on hold after Morrison’s supermarket - who were planning to build a 70,000 square foot store on the site as part of the deal - failed to sign the agreement.

Wrenbridge declined to comment.

Comments (4)

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5:18pm Fri 4 Jan 13

Eric Whim says...

they'll flatten what's left of it and build houses....
they'll flatten what's left of it and build houses.... Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Fri 4 Jan 13

local laindon says...

Morrisons obviously went to Pitsea and left Wrenbridge high and dry - why should it be any different for another developer with or without the Council. It is just a shame local residents didn't support the 2004 proposals - it would have been finished by now. Housing would be the easy answer but the area does need some shops and a much better pub where you might even want to go. The whole thing needs pulling down from a public safety perspective anyway - were is Health & Safety?
Morrisons obviously went to Pitsea and left Wrenbridge high and dry - why should it be any different for another developer with or without the Council. It is just a shame local residents didn't support the 2004 proposals - it would have been finished by now. Housing would be the easy answer but the area does need some shops and a much better pub where you might even want to go. The whole thing needs pulling down from a public safety perspective anyway - were is Health & Safety? local laindon
  • Score: 0

9:06am Sat 5 Jan 13

CitizenG says...

It does look like a bombsite. It's Awful! Yet people still shop there in the few shops left which shows theres a demand for small local shops.
There's a fantastic oportunity to here to redevelop---that is flatten the eyesore and rebuild in an attractive way- and encourage small businesses and shops that local people can use without travelling into Basildon.
All the existing shops and businesses are useful, add a nicer pub, a nicer cafe, maybe a quirky hippy jewellery/gift shop for the younger generation and a craft shop for the older or more 'crafty' people. It could be turned into a really interesting hub of the commuity.
It would be a shame if they just built flats on it...but I guess thats what will make the council most money..so thats prob what we will end up with.
It does look like a bombsite. It's Awful! Yet people still shop there in the few shops left which shows theres a demand for small local shops. There's a fantastic oportunity to here to redevelop---that is flatten the eyesore and rebuild in an attractive way- and encourage small businesses and shops that local people can use without travelling into Basildon. All the existing shops and businesses are useful, add a nicer pub, a nicer cafe, maybe a quirky hippy jewellery/gift shop for the younger generation and a craft shop for the older or more 'crafty' people. It could be turned into a really interesting hub of the commuity. It would be a shame if they just built flats on it...but I guess thats what will make the council most money..so thats prob what we will end up with. CitizenG
  • Score: 0

10:37am Mon 7 Jan 13

Trainman says...

The original shops in Laindon should NEVER have been torn down, regardless of 'Development' back in the 1960's/1970's.
The original shops in Laindon should NEVER have been torn down, regardless of 'Development' back in the 1960's/1970's. Trainman
  • Score: 0

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