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Plans to revitalise Chippenham town centre go on display
Owners of two big business sites in Chippenham claim their plans to redevelop them will help revitalise the town centre.
Ashtenne Industrial Fund, which owns Langley Park, and Aberdeen Property UK Retail Parks Trust, which owns neighbouring Hathaway Retail Park, have joined forces to work on proposals to regenerate the area.
The two owners call themselves the Central Chippenham Partnership and last week held a public exhibition of their plans at St Paul’s Church Hall and the Town Hall.
Plans for Langley Park provoked controversy five years ago when Ashtenne proposed to create a giant ASDA store on the site plus 192 homes. The plans were rejected at appeal. Now the developers are proposing a smaller supermarket, between 75 and 80 starter/small family homes, offices, industrial units, a hotel plus a leisure facility which could be a cinema, bowling alley or restaurant.
Wayne Locke, regional director of Ashtenne, said feedback from surveys showed that people in Chippenham often shopped out of town and in other towns.
He said: “A lot of people say they don’t shop in the centre of Chippenham but shop out of town or in other towns such as Bath, Swindon, Melksham, Marlborough, Wootton Bassett, Calne and Devizes.
“We are trying to bring in a food store that will attract people to the town centre. There’s not enough footfall in the town centre and if we can encourage people to go there then that will revitalise business.”
Mr Locke said they had not lined up a supermarket to build on the site. He said their plans are for a 39,000 sq ft store which would be bigger than the Tesco and Waitrose stores in Chippenham but smaller than the Morrisons and Sainsbury’s stores.
The developers also plan to make improvements at the Little George/Hathaway roundabout to improve traffic flow. They have been asking people for their views on what leisure facility they would like to see on the site.
So far 25 per cent want a cinema, although others say they would prefer the existing Reel cinema to be modernised, and 18 per cent would like a restaurant.
Following the exhibition the developers will evaluate all the feedback and aim to submit a planning application to Wiltshire Council in January 2013.