SHOPPERS in Brentwood want to see more big name stores in the town centre, a Weekly News poll has revealed.
In the survey conducted on our website asking what does Brentwood High Street need more of, a total of 46 per cent of votes went for national names.
In joint second place with 23 per cent each were independent shops and restaurants while bars received just eight per cent of the vote.
Our poll’s final option “it is fine as it is” picked up no votes at all.
The results come just over a week after Brentwood Council agreed to look further into a new “Masterplan” which will see the High Street and William Hunter Way redeveloped - and regenerated.
Council leader Louise McKinlay said: "I am not surprised at all by this result as despite how good and strong as the retail offer in Brentwood already is, what is lacking is a large store like a House of Fraser or Debenhams at the moment.
"I think it endorses what we are looking to do with the Master Plan, but this is something which we have only just started looking at.
"This poll is the first indication that residents like the idea, but we have lots to go through and this will involve talking to shoppers and businesses locally to get a better idea of what they want.".
Members of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce also agreed with our poll.
Mike Hawkins, the group’s chief executive, said: “Some big name shops are what really is required in the town centre as they will help attract more people into town.
“They would be good for the independent sector as well as more shoppers will be in contact with their businesses.
“If you get a name like Waitrose, who were bandied around the William Hunter Way project, then it will give customers living in Brentwood the chance to shop locally rather than going elsewhere.”
Shopper Louise Jenkins, 37, said: “There are plenty of independent shops, which is great, and bars for that matter.
“So it would be good to see something like Waitrose come to twom, after all I think a big name like this would go very well with people here.”