Councillor attacks plans for new Brentwood shopping centre as it seeks to compete with Westfield
A councillor has slammed plans for Brentwood’s new shopping area and says the council is not doing enough to ensure the future of the town as it looks to compete with Europe’s biggest shopping centre.
Cllr Philip Mynott (Liberal Democrat, Brentwood North) also says he was barred from speaking at the policy meeting on Wednesday last week, when he says a number of issues weren’t addressed.
Europe’s biggest shopping centre, Westfield Stratford, opened in east London last week.
Cllr Mynott said the council has failed to address how the William Hunter Way development will affect businesses in High Street.
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He said: “The utter absurdity of discounting Brentwood Centre and King George’s car parks as possible park-and-ride sites because of the huge problem of A128 (Ongar Road, Ingrave Road) congestion, would enormously add to already dire congestion on this and other Brentwood routes.”
During the meeting a council officer said Cllr Mynott, who has lodged an objection against the development, would usually be asked to leave the chamber instead of not being allowed to talk – because he had a prejudicial interest.
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Ken Lindsay, managing director of William Hunter Way developers Stockland, told the meeting his plan would help High Street.
He said: “Competition from out-of-town, from superstores which are selling more non-food goods than food goods, challenge all towns, including Brentwood. I saw Westfield say that they expect four million people to visit who live within 45 minutes of the shopping area. The way to help businesses is to improve the overall shopping experience.”
A council spokesman said: “In regards to temporary car parking facilities, the council has explored a number of options and has secured additional space whilst the works are taking place, which will minimise the loss of parking spaces during construction. The council leader, Cllr Louise McKinlay, is about to start a consultation round with retailers, local businesses and residents to discuss the detail regarding the best way forward.”