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10th Feb 2015

Ridgeons & Turnstone submit detailed designs for new Saffron Walden Branch

Plans now submitted for phase 1 redevelopment of Ashdon Road Commercial Park

On behalf of Ridgeons Builders Merchants, development partner Turnstone Estates has just submitted the first ‘reserved matters’ application to Uttlesford District Council planning’s team covering the detail of phase 1 redevelopment of the Ashdon Road Commercial Centre.

The first phase of the 32 acres redevelopment will provide a new Ridgeons branch and improved access road as part of a comprehensive regeneration of this site which will also deliver up to 167 new homes and space for a variety of new employment uses, including a hotel and restaurant/pub.

Following extensive public consultation in 2013, the development as a whole was granted outline planning permission in November 2014. This approval established the principle of redeveloping the site. Individual phases now need to be brought forward in detail through ‘reserved matters’ submissions to enable individual buildings to be constructed.

Angela Rushforth, Managing Director of Ridgeons, said “In the outline planning application approved, the first phase of development was to be a number of the new homes at the entrance to the site. However, on the basis of our pressing business needs and the importance of our Saffron Walden business, we have decided to focus instead on prioritising our new Ridgeons branch as the first phase of development. We remain more committed than ever to safeguarding future jobs and maintaining a successful builders’ merchants business in the town through the wholesale regeneration of this important site.”

Ridgeons is looking to build a branch with more floorspace than was presented within the first planning application allowing the builders merchants to store a wider range of items over both the ground and mezzanine levels. The current branch will remain open whilst the new one is constructed with no break in service to local residents and businesses. Once completed, staff and stock will be moved over to the new branch and the old branch will be redeveloped.

Chris Goldsmith, Managing Director of Turnstone Estates, Ridgeons’ development partner said “Whilst we have already begun talking to high quality housebuilders to find a partner for the residential part of the site, this first reserved matters submission points our initial priorities, as a team, firmly towards the commercial part of the site. We anticipate a great deal of interest in the new businesses spaces and homes and expect to be submitting further applications later this year for both the commercial and residential portions of the site.”

With the first reserved matters application submitted, Uttlesford District Council will now carry out a period of public consultation on the detailed proposals for the new branch and upgraded access road. It is anticipated that a decision will be reached in April/May this year allowing work to start on the new branch in summer 2015.

Ridgeons is hoping to begin trading from its new branch in summer 2016.

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