DevSecs pull out of Hitchin Churchgate redevelopment

THE contractor for Hitchin’s Churchgate project has suffered a blow, after the company which it was seeking a joint venture partnership with pulled out.

Developers Simons was in talks with company DevSecs about the possibility of entering a joint partnership, in which the costs of the project would be shared between the two.

But The Comet has learned that the latter has pulled out of the deal following talks with the company.

The saga was yesterday (Wednesday) published by satire magazine Private Eye, which has already written two articles previously surrounding the project in its ‘Rotten Boroughs’ column.

The publication claims that without a venture partners, Simons will be unable to complete the Churchgate redevelopment.

But Simons project manager Charles Vyvyan told The Comet that it would not have any effect on where the company stood in the process.

He added: “Simons is in negotiations with potential joint venture partners but no terms have yet been agreed with any party.

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“Any agreement with a proposed partner in the development would have to be agreed with North Herts District Council. “We continue to work with the council to assemble the various elements of the scheme required for the development to take place.

“We’re making progress on a lot of key, but sometimes complex, issues that need to be resolved before we can re-commence detailed public consultation and put a planning application together. This will take some time to get right and we are keen not to rush things through.

“The joint venture partnership agreement has no bearing on where we are in the process, which is working through a range of important issues that will allow us to bring the development forward.”

A spokesman from DevSecs said that it was unable to comment on the case.