Major redevelopment at gateway of Letchworth shopping centre announced
- Credit: Archant
A proposed major redevelopment to build flats and shops at the gateway of a shopping centre has been announced.
In addition to installing a new front to Garden Square Shopping Centre Praxis Real Estate Management Ltd., on behalf of Rodez Ltd, who are the land’s leaseholders, want to build 47 flats and two shops by refurbishing Commerce House and rebuilding 23/25 Leys Avenue.
A spokesman for the firm, who held a one day consultation on the plans two weeks ago, said they plan to submit a formal planning application to North Herts District Council by the end of the month.
He added: “The consultation went very well, with the majority of comments received being supportive of our proposals. A number of visitors left comments asking for dedicated parking for the residents of the flats to be provided.
“We took this feedback on board and have amended the application to include residential car parking.”
The Comet went and asked local shop owners how they felt about the proposed development.
Dilip Shah, owner of Letchworth GC branch of Esquires Coffee Bar, said: “I’m glad they’re building flats which will be a welcome addition to the town but I can’t understand why they are building more shops.
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“Letchworth is full of empty retail units, all you have to do it look around the town to see them. Everything may seem fine now but in a couple of years what are the odds that they are empty shops.”
Maureen Davison, owner of women’s clothing and fashion retailer Just for Me, said: “I think it will improve the look of the town which will be good for Letchworth and it will bring in more footfall which will be good for local businesses. Unfortunately I missed the consultation day because I was in London.
“It seems a bit rushed and I think it would have been better to have been longer than one day so more people could have gone and seen the plans.”
John Lewis, chief executive of Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, which owns the freehold on the land, said: “It’s encouraging to see someone confidently investing in the town. Their plans fit well with our strategy to bring more activity into the town centre.”