Letchworth Shopping centre revamp scrapped

REDEVELOPMENT plans for a town’s shopping centre have been scrapped, it was revealed today (Wednesday).

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation confirmed that a scheme to refurbish The Wynd in Letchworth GC will not go ahead in its present form, despite receiving planning permission to implement it.

The news comes after North Herts District Council (NHDC) were formally asked by the Heritage Foundation to withdraw the Compulsory Purchase Order put on the retail units which connect Leys Avenue with Station Road.

The Heritage Foundation will now review the most appropriate development for the town based on local consultation, which will commence in 2011.

“We have already made significant investments into the regeneration of Letchworth town centre,” said John Lewis, chief executive of the Heritage Foundation.

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“Working with the council, we will be seeking to implement a series of improvements and a new and revised proposal for the comprehensive redevelopment of The Wynd, which the Heritage Foundation remains committed to in the long term.”

Cllr Tom Brindley, portfolio holder for Planning, Transport and Economic Development at NHDC, said: “The council is obviously disappointed that a major redevelopment opportunity in Letchworth GC is not proceeding at this time but fully understands the need to review any major town centre redevelopment schemes in the present economic climate.

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“The council has agreed to withdraw its Compulsory Purchase Order in relation to The Wynd.

“We will work positively with the Heritage Foundation towards a future redevelopment of The Wynd and broader enhancements of the town centre.”

Responding to the news, NHDC Letchworth East Cllr Lorna Kercher said: “I do think it’s a shame that the development won’t be going ahead at this time but I believe it will do in the future.

“Maybe it will be a different application and that may be good for the town as I do think it’s got to change.

“When an application is left for some time things change.”

Cllr Paul Ross, of Letchworth Parish Council, said: “I’m pleased. To be honest I wasn’t keen on the development proposals.

“I wouldn’t call the latest town centre redevelopment a success anyway and I thought if it went ahead that The Wynd would go the same way.”

To share views and suggestions about the future of Letchworth GC town centre, visit www.thenextsteps.co.uk

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