No Cir­cus site for Tesco

Su­per­mar­ket gi­ant sells former Master Brewer land to help raise funds

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­

TESCO has aban­doned its plans to build a su­per­store at the old Master Brewer site, near Hilling­don Cir­cus.

The su­per­mar­ket gi­ant’s de­vel­op­ment arm Spen­hill has agreed to sell the unused site in Hilling­don, along with 13 oth­ers in Lon­don and the South East to prop­erty de­vel­oper Meyer Bergman.

The deal is ex­pected to raise £250m for the re­tailer and is part of its cur­rent de­sire to “strengthen its bal­ance sheet”.

Cam­paign­ers who have op­posed Tesco say they are de­lighted but are wait­ing to see what the new own­ers will do.

Tesco chief ex­ec­u­tive Dave Lewis said: “Since an­nounc­ing our de­ci­sion to build fewer stores we have been work­ing with Meyer Bergman to bring for­ward in­vest­ment on our Spen­hill sites. We are very pleased to have agreed a deal with Meyer Bergman.”

Oak Farm Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion, which cov­ers the Hilling­don East ward, fought the plans for a 24-hour store.

Chair­man Con­nie Evans said: “It would have dec­i­mated all the lo­cal busi­nesses that are al­ready strug­gling.

“The store would have been open 24 hours a day, which would have seen ex­tra ve­hi­cles on Long Lane in Ick­en­ham and all sur­round­ing roads.”

She said res­i­dents are not op­posed to hous­ing at the site, as long as it is not high den­sity.

Mrs Evans added: “Ex­tra peo­ple would give our lo­cal shops a good lift. But if they’re go­ing to build hous­ing or flats and they’re build­ing them to min­i­mum stan­dards, then I will be very much against it and so will my mem­bers. We’ve got to see which way the cat jumps.”

Oth­ers, in­clud­ing Linda Harrison from East­cote, think the Master Brewer site should be­come a hospi­tal.

She said: “I be­lieve that site is per­fect for a new hospi­tal, which is badly needed. Hilling­don Hospi­tal is a pain to get to, has se­ri­ous park­ing is­sues and is out­dated. The Master Brewer site is fully ac­ces­si­ble by bus and train.”

The site, at Hilling­don Cir­cus, is a stone’s throw away from Hilling­don Tube sta­tion, and is served by a num­ber of buses.

Oak Farm Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion will dis­cuss the site at fu­ture meet­ings. They are held on the first Tues­day of the month at Hilling­don Bap­tist Church on Her­cies Road at 7pm.

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