Council may step in to buy the Laindon Centre

Echo: Concerned over the delayed development of the Laindon Centre – Basildon councillors John Dornan, Malcolm Buckley, Sandra Hillier and Stephen Hillier Concerned over the delayed development of the Laindon Centre – Basildon councillors John Dornan, Malcolm Buckley, Sandra Hillier and Stephen Hillier

Basildon Council could step in and forcibly buy the Laindon Shopping Centre in a bid to kickstart its regeneration.

Fed-up councillors say developers – who have been talking about renovating the facility since 1996 – are taking too long to seal a deal to purchase the centre from its current owner and build a 70,000 square foot Morrison’s supermarket on the site.

Malcolm Buckley , Basildon Council’s councillor responsible for regeneration, has given property firm Wrenbridge until September to close the deal for the centre’s future, or the authority will step in and buy it, finding their own new developer.

Mr Buckley said: “I am acutely aware the situation regarding future investment and regeneration of the site is not good enough. Something needs to change, and something needs to happen, and soon.

“We were very confident earlier this year and a deal was very close to being signed between the current owners, a prospective buyer and a major supermarket chain.

“Discussions have been ongoing since then, and these parties are still negotiating and are hopeful of reaching an agreement within the next few weeks.

“However, this situation cannot continue indefinitely and the time has now come for us to consider our options if no deal is signed during August.

“If no deal is forthcoming by the start of September, then I have instructed council officers to consider all options for the future of this site, including the use of compulsory purchase, which would involve the council finding a development partner who will redevelop and regenerate the site if necessary.”

Last month a deal involving property firm Wrenbridge buying the site from current owner’s Laindon Regeneration was put on hold.

Jeff Wilson, director at Wrenbridge, said the deal had been held up because Morrison’s had yet to sign their part of the agreement to build a store at the centre, creating 300 jobs.

But he remained hopeful a final deal could be struck by mid-August.

However, Mr Buckley, although “hopeful” a deal may still be agreed between Morrisons and Wrenbridge, is adamant the council is not prepared to wait any longer.

He added: “We are still confident, but felt it important to make it clear to the local community that any more delays and hold ups are not acceptable, and we will take action, including compulsory purchase if no deal is forthcoming this month.”

Wrenbridge and Morrisons were unavailable to comment.

Comments (4)

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4:26pm Thu 2 Aug 12

The Cater Wood Creeper says...

something needs to be done to bring this long drawn out fiasco forwards, if it means the Council stepping in and taking up the reins so be it. Although it'll probably end up as housing if they do....
something needs to be done to bring this long drawn out fiasco forwards, if it means the Council stepping in and taking up the reins so be it. Although it'll probably end up as housing if they do.... The Cater Wood Creeper
  • Score: -1

5:47pm Thu 2 Aug 12

rich.carol says...

Went there beginning June and you would never known the shopping centre was there unless you was told it was. Had to go the opticians as my glasses were sent there by mistake and not to my usual Brentwood branch and I really could not wait another day without them. It was a real ghost town and it felt very poor. There was so many shops boarded up and it was such a shame. The people in the opticians stated at night its a real no go area with muggings, gangs and stabbings. Such as shame to waste a shopping centre that could be a phoenix. The quicker they get it built the better.Good luck with it because I think the council will need it
Went there beginning June and you would never known the shopping centre was there unless you was told it was. Had to go the opticians as my glasses were sent there by mistake and not to my usual Brentwood branch and I really could not wait another day without them. It was a real ghost town and it felt very poor. There was so many shops boarded up and it was such a shame. The people in the opticians stated at night its a real no go area with muggings, gangs and stabbings. Such as shame to waste a shopping centre that could be a phoenix. The quicker they get it built the better.Good luck with it because I think the council will need it rich.carol
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Thu 2 Aug 12

PJR-121 says...

The rents went up and the companies left. Such a shame, I remember when it was thriving, but now it's a shadow of its former self. I'm friends with a couple of the shop owners that are still there, and they all say this cannot come soon enough.
The rents went up and the companies left. Such a shame, I remember when it was thriving, but now it's a shadow of its former self. I'm friends with a couple of the shop owners that are still there, and they all say this cannot come soon enough. PJR-121
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Sat 4 Aug 12

MiseryLovesCompany says...

rich.carol wrote:
Went there beginning June and you would never known the shopping centre was there unless you was told it was. Had to go the opticians as my glasses were sent there by mistake and not to my usual Brentwood branch and I really could not wait another day without them. It was a real ghost town and it felt very poor. There was so many shops boarded up and it was such a shame. The people in the opticians stated at night its a real no go area with muggings, gangs and stabbings. Such as shame to waste a shopping centre that could be a phoenix. The quicker they get it built the better.Good luck with it because I think the council will need it
Muggings, gangs, and stabbings?
Where do they get this information from?

What a load of tosh, don't believe everything you hear.

There hasn't been any of that for years.
[quote][p][bold]rich.carol[/bold] wrote: Went there beginning June and you would never known the shopping centre was there unless you was told it was. Had to go the opticians as my glasses were sent there by mistake and not to my usual Brentwood branch and I really could not wait another day without them. It was a real ghost town and it felt very poor. There was so many shops boarded up and it was such a shame. The people in the opticians stated at night its a real no go area with muggings, gangs and stabbings. Such as shame to waste a shopping centre that could be a phoenix. The quicker they get it built the better.Good luck with it because I think the council will need it[/p][/quote]Muggings, gangs, and stabbings? Where do they get this information from? What a load of tosh, don't believe everything you hear. There hasn't been any of that for years. MiseryLovesCompany
  • Score: 1

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