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A DEVELOPING NATION

15-12-2009

Demolition

Everywhere you look there are proposed building developments. Barbara Panvel wonders how many of them will ever be finished.

How many ‘iconic’ projects of dubious worth are being abandoned all over the country?

The site of the ambitious Asda shopping development superstore site in Shirley, due to start in 2007, remains derelict as the planning permission for the original grandiose plan has lapsed and the high street has lost several useful stores removed by compulsory purchase to make way for this development.

The site offers an ideal location for the new housing advocated by government, bringing welcome customers for the high street damaged by the developers and their council partners.

Musing on the excavations in Centenary Square I was assured that this project would not be abandoned, as if one builder pulled out another would be found. But what happens if the developer – as in Preston - pulls out? Will there others be queuing up to take over?

A Stirrer reader living near Preston, where the revamp of the city centre has been hit by the Duke of Westminster’s property group pulling out of the project, asks a series of questions:

“Tickles me, they're building new shopping precincts and new industrial estates. My thoughts are “Where are the firms to go in the new units and where are the people with money to spend in these new shops?

“There are empty industrial and retail units in new estates and still they build more. Just to make the town centre look nice? Just to fill empty spaces?

“Where there used to be industry there are now empty spaces, vacant land.

”I hope the developers don't have to pay rates, or is that another reason the councils want them in their district?

“Found out: there is a return over time: no liability for rates for the first three months on vacant property, or six months for industrial and warehouse property. After that, rates are payable at the full occupied rate

“Ah well I've got that little ramble out of the way:

“Ho ho ho, Christmas is coming, yeh let's build some shops!!!”

WILL THE PROPOSED NEW LOOK FOR BIRMINGHAM END IN TEARS? DISCUSS THIS ON THE STIRRER FORUM

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