Cer­e­mo­nial start for Arla site

Plans for shop­ping and leisure com­plex will cre­ate a ‘new high street'

Uxbridge Gazette - - NEWS - by Kather­ine Clemen­tine kather­ine.clemen­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A GROUND-break­ing cer­e­mony to mark the of­fi­cial start of a £25.8mil­lion re­de­vel­op­ment of the for­mer Arla Foods site in South Ruislip has taken place.

De­vel­oper Ci­ty­grove in­tends to build a shop­ping and leisure com­plex, with a new cin­ema and su­per­mar­ket, at the site.

Supporters say the am­bi­tious plans will cre­ate a ‘new town cen­tre’ for South Ruislip.

“It’s an ex­cit­ing time for the area,” said ward coun­cil­lor Al­lan Kauff­man. “It’ll bring a town cen­tre to South Ruislip rather than just a small pa­rade of shops.

“That’s not to say a small pa­rade of shops is not im­por­tant, they are. They’ll re­main and they’ll still trade be­cause they’re niche shops that won’t be af­fected by this.

“The site was just left to rot, so it’s lovely to have it new and revitalised.”

The for­mer Arla Foods site has been derelict for more than a decade and its re­de­vel­op­ment was de­layed even fur­ther when Sains­bury’s sought a ju­di­cial re­view to halt plans for a ri­val store at the site.

But the High Court dis­missed the ac­tion, leav­ing the way clear for Ci­ty­grove to forge ahead.

The con­struc­tion work is ex­pected to take 60 weeks and will be car­ried out by Si­mons.

The de­vel­op­ment in­cludes a new Asda store and petrol sta­tion, an 11 screen cin­ema and five restau­rants, cre­at­ing more than 150 jobs for con­struc­tion op­er­a­tives and 500 full and part time jobs upon com­ple­tion.

Tom Robin­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Si­mons Con­struc­tion Ltd, said: “It’s the first project we’ve done with Ci­ty­grove, so we’re de­lighted to be work­ing for a new cus­tomer on such a high pro­file scheme for the res­i­dents of South Ruislip, who I understand, are de­lighted with the prospect of hav­ing this kind of fa­cil­ity here as well.

“It’s a great op­por­tu­nity for an or­gan­i­sa­tion like ours to de­liver on cus­tomer prom­ises and we’re keen to give the best out­come for lo­cal res­i­dents and the cus­tomer we’re work­ing for and we take a lot of pride in that.”

Ci­ty­grove chair­man Toby Baines said res­i­dents can ex­pect a grand open­ing at around Easter 2017.

Speak­ing at the ground­break­ing cer­e­mony on De­cem­ber 2, he said: “By the sum­mer, you’ll see the build­ings and all the steel will be up. They go up very quickly and we’re hop­ing to fin­ish this time next year.

“Then there’s a three month pe­riod to fit all the units out and we’ll be look­ing at a big open­ing dur­ing Easter 2017.

“It’s really good and ex­cit­ing and there’s no stop­ping us now.”

Al­though the scheme has been warmly wel­comed by most South Ruislip res­i­dents, con­cerns were pre­vi­ously raised over in­creased traf­fic once the site is up and run­ning.

Cllr Judy Kelly, ward coun­cil­lor for South Ruislip, said: “Ten years ago Al­lan and I sat down, and as Cham­pion of the Arts, I said ‘we’ve got to have more than just houses and shops, we want a cin­ema’, and I am so so pleased that we’ve got that be­cause that gives life and pur­pose to the whole project.

“It’s not just an­other out of town shop­ping cen­tre – this is more.

“If this site was all res­i­den­tial, the traf­fic from it would just be adding to the cur­rent rush hour traf­fic.

“Ac­tu­ally, hav­ing a re­tail site helps to spread the traf­fic out, so hav­ing that mix it’s bet­ter as far as traf­fic is con­cerned.”

WORK STARTS: Coun­cil­lors and staff from the de­vel­op­ment team be­gin Work. From left, Guy Wood­ward, Kevin Lake,Toby Baines, Neil Cow­burn, Tom Robin­son, Cllr Al­lan Kauff­man, John Hal­lam, Cllr Judy Kelly, Sid Jackson, Ge­orge Hard­cas­tle, Ceri Evans, Si­mon Nabarro, Stu­art Sy­del, An­drew Ren­nie, Ge­orgina Rus­sell, Steven Raf­ferty, Da­mon Shee­han, Lavinia Kort­lang and Liam King

VI­SION: An artist's im­pres­sion of how the Arla de­vel­op­ment will look

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