William Hunter Way snub frustrates Waitrose chiefs

Brentwood Weekly News: Artist's impression of Stockland's plans for William Hunter Way Artist's impression of Stockland's plans for William Hunter Way

WAITROSE bosses have expressed their disappointment at being snubbed from any future development in William Hunter Way.

Building firm Aquila confirmed they approached Brentwood Council “several times” with offers to develop the key central Brentwood site.

However, an email leaked to the Weekly News details how the offers were ignored.

Ken Harrison, Waitrose’s development surveyor, said they are annoyed the proposals were not taken up as they were “very keen” to open in the town.

Mr Harrison said: “After having both formal and informal pre-application discussion over the last nine months and making financial offers, we’re naturally disappointed the council hasn’t given serious considerations to the Waitrose proposals."

Meanwhile, opposition councillors expressed anger over the latest plans not even being mentioned before last Wednesday’s vote to continue negotiations with developers Stockland.

A development deadline was missed for a fourth time for the Stockland plans which will look to bring a Marks & Spencers, TK Maxx, Odeon cinema and homes to the road.

Lib Dem group leader Barry Aspinell said: “This is absolutely outrageous. We were forced into making a decision that we were clearly against the best interests of Brentwood.”

Brentwood North, Lib Dem councillor Philip Mynott called the non-discussion “appalling”.

He said: “What the Tories did on Wednesday night was they voted to save their faces rather than save Brentwood.”

Tory council leader Louise McKinlay said it was made “crystal clear” to Waitrose the authority was tied into negotiations and contracts with Stockland.

Mrs McKinlay said: “Had we decided not to go with Stockland, we would have had to have gone through the whole precurment process again which would have cost about £1million along with adding on more delays.

“I would love to see Waitrose in the town, but this offer was never an alternative to consider.”

Plans for developing William Hunter way have been in the pipeline since 2007.

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