Braintree: Council insists there have been no talks over shopping plan since 2012 (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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Braintree: Council insists there have been no talks over shopping plan since 2012
3:00pm Thursday 5th December 2013 in News
A council has distanced itself from ambitious proposals to create a new seven floor retail complex in Braintree.
Last week, the Times exclusively revealed Braintree Council had taken part in secret talks about demolishing George Yard car park and Morrisons, in Rayne Road, to make way for a new shopping development half the size of Freeport.
Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request showed the council, which owns George Yard car park, and James Development, the owner of the supermarket building, had been in discussions from 2009 until at least September last year.
The council has now released a second statement clarifying its position.
A spokesman said: “There are currently no plans in place to redevelop the site, the council is not currently in correspondence with the owners of the Morrisons site, and no formal agreement has been made with either the owners, or Morrisons who currently lease the building.
“In 2009 the council commissioned a report that examined the scope for Braintree town centre to accommodate new retail development. This highlighted that the land next to George Yard Shopping Centre was one the areas which could be considered for further investigation.
“Following this, James Development approached the council with the aim of exploring development opportunities and put forward a number of initial plans, ranging from expanding the store on its existing site through to a complete redevelopment of this site in conjunction with the George Yard multi-storey car park.
“The council agreed to explore these opportunities in more detail and to work with James Development to assess the viability of the plans. However following these discussions, James Development has not come forward with any concrete plans, and there has been no correspondence with the company since 2012.”
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