Top firm to develop the Laindon Centre 2/10/13

Top firm to develop the Laindon Centre

A PRESTIGIOUS development firm, which has invested millions of pounds into revamping shopping centres across the country, is in line to revive the Laindon Centre.

Top property developer Bride Hall, who were behind the £43million revamp of the Metro Centre Retail Park in Gateshead, have been signed up to kickstart the project.

Following talks, involving BDO – the administrators of the Laindon Regeneration Company – Basildon Council and the London-based company, a deal was struck.

It comes after the Echo and fed up traders called for action earlier this year to start the much needed overhaul of the site.

Bride Hall’s plans are expected to include a “substantial investment” to build both homes and new shops, according to Malcolm Buckley, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, who said the news was “a bigstep in the right direction”.

Mr Buckley said: “The Laindon Centre has been declining for a number of years and will continue to do so unless investment is made to revitalise and regenerate what was once a vibrant centre for local people.

“The council has always been committed to the future of the area and that is why we have been so involved in the discussions with the administrators.

“There have been many false dawns for the Laindon Centre, but we are confident Bride Hall will put together a viable and deliverable scheme that will include new homes and new shops.

“We will now be working with them to design an attractive scheme to transform Laindon and create a centre the local community have been waiting for.”

Will Rohleder, development director at Bride Hall, told the Echo it was too early to say how much cash will be invested in the site and what exactly will be built there.

He said:”Bride Hall is pleased to announce we have been engaged to work on the regeneration and revitalisation of the Laindon Shopping Centre to ensure its long term future.

“We are looking at a mixture of uses for the site which will include residential and retail.

“We are at an early stage of reviewing options and are already in discussions with Basildon Council which has shown a strong desire to see the Laindon project brought to fruition in a deliverable and sustainable manner.

“We hope to have further detail and comments about our plans towards the end of this year.”

It is hoped a planning application will be submitted early in the new year.

Mr Buckley added that would be considered on its merits, but said “the sooner it happens the better.”