10:23pm Wednesday 11th December 2013
A MULTI-MILLION pound redevelopment in central Brentwood has been given a fresh lease of life by councillors.
Members of Brentwood Council voted tonight to not scrap the plans for William Hunter Way which is aiming to bring a six-screen cinema, supermarket, multi-storey car park and apartments along the road.
A development agreement deadline was missed for a fourth time on Saturday for the proposals first drawn up with building firm Stockland in 2007.
However, councillors voted 20-15 to continue with negotiations and add penalty clauses to developers if work does not commence by a specific date.
Power was also delegated to the council's managing director Alison Crowe who will oversee negotiations in consultation with council leader Louise McKinlay and a cross party working group.
If the future of the development is not decided by the end of January, then the project will be scrapped.
Part of ongoing negotiations will see the council seek to fine Stockland should building work not start by September next year and further penalties if work is not finished by December 2015.
The authority is also looking to add another amendment with developers allowing them to terminate the agreement should building work not start in September.
A lively debate lasting nearly 90 minutes was had over the motion with opposition councillors, who made up all the 15 votes against, unhappy all power has been delegated to Mrs Crowe.
They also believe proposals should go back to the drawing board.
Lib Dem group leader Barry Aspinell said: "This is a dead, dull, dreary and uninspired development being thrust upon us."
But Mrs McKinlay said this is a plan the authority should be sticking with.
The Tory councillor said: "This is a good scheme for Brentwood and one we should go ahead with."
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