East Herts District Council have issued a statement following the withdrawl of amended plans for Bircherley Green shopping centre by developer Wrenbridge.
The District Council were set to approve amended plans for the shopping centre at a meeting of the Development Control Committee on Wednesday of next week (19th June). However, the developer withdrew the plans just nine days before the meeting, citing "the downturn in the retail sector and a slowing property market".
The decision has been met with dismay by local businesses, councillors and the wider community, with many taking to social media to express thair anger.
The council's statement in full reads:
East Herts Council leader Linda Haysey said: "We are extremely disappointed and surprised to learn that the owner of Bircherley Green has decided to withdraw phase 2 of the development"
"We have been working closely with Wrenbridge over the last few months. In fact council staff were still in negotiation with them right up until last week on important elements of their application because we were keen to ensure that it was ready for consideration by the development management committee on June 19"
"We have been committed throughout to ensuring that the owner provided a high-quality development for the centre of our county town. In the coming days we will be looking to see if there are ways in which the council can contribute to a solution for the town centre"
Planning permission for Bircherley Green was originally granted in 2017, since when Wrenbridge have submitted a number of amendments.
Retail units and offices on the corner of Railway Street and Bircherley Street were demolished last year, following which work stopped.
The main shopping centre and car park were closed last year after leases on the remaining units expired. The site is now derelict.
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