As we approach the end of 2019, we wanted to provide residents with an update on matters within the Town Centre.
We have agreed terms with a number of retailers within the town centre and are currently progressing the legal agreements whilst the tenants prepare plans for their internal and shop front fit outs as well as procuring contractors to carry out the works. You will have noticed that we have now completed the works to construct the internal separating walls in anticipation of the tenants signing up. These are all required for building control approval and to secure the necessary sales advertisement applications and discharge of the relevant planning conditions.
We were hoping that these could all be announced before the turn of the year, however the process is complex and we are supporting the tenants in any way that we can to expedite this. We would love to announce who and what these are but it would be unfair to do so until the agreements are signed which we hope will be very early in the new year. Obviously, until the leases are signed there is always the risk that the deals may fall through which adds to the sensitive nature and need for confidentiality.
The Persimmon office is almost complete with external works being all that is outstanding and will be fully occupied within the first quarter of next year. You may have noticed that the second phase of the works to the south of Branton South are now being complete which will mean the completion of all contracts that are currently ongoing. We expect all of this to be complete by the end of March, ensuring that the Branton South blocks are then ready for retailers to occupy.
It must be said in the current economic and political environment and with consumer habits evolving that the leasing of the units is challenging and we are doing everything we can with our appointed agents to ensure deals are signed and units filled to create a diverse and sustainable retail area. Increasing housing numbers are crucial for retailers as well as the delivery of infrastructure such as the Spine Road and Schools so it is important that we continue to deliver everything we can to entice further interest.
The supermarket site is now cleared of the soil mounds and levelled ready for further site investigations and is progressing well with draft contracts being reviewed and pre-application discussions starting with the local authority very soon. We are more than confident that when this can be made public (which we are targeting before the end of Spring) it will act as a catalyst for further investment into the town centre. We can’t stress the importance of an anchor supermarket enough and this is obviously our focus at the moment. We are also in early discussions with a pub operator and hope that this will start to gather pace in the New Year, as we know this is something residents are extremely keen to have.
We hope this provides you with an update on current progress and want to assure you that there is a lot of work going on in the background alongside the physical works to ensure that we can deliver a vibrant Town Centre. A similar post will also be going onto the website before the end of the year to update all residents.