Swindon AdvertiserSecrecy surrounds ues of former register office site (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Secrecy surrounds ues of former register office site

Swindon Advertiser: The demolition of Aspen House, Swindon's former register office The demolition of Aspen House, Swindon's former register office

SWINDON Council is in negotiations with a developer about the future of the Aspen House site with the demolition of the building and its surrounding structures continuing.

The council bought the vacant 12-storey building, in Temple Street, which once homed Swindon’s register office, last year, with the aim of regenerating that area of the town centre. Due to the poor condition of building it was decided to knock it down.

Coun Garry Perkins, cabinet member for the economy, regeneration and culture, said that a developer had approached the council about working with them to improve the site but wouldn’t reveal their identity.

Coun Perkins said: “A developer spotted that we are knocking down the building and has contacted us to express an interest in working with us. We’d look at the potential possibility of having retail and residential on the site but obviously this is a very early stage, there’s been nothing formally discussed and going forward any proposals would need to receive planning permission.”

Aspen House is expected to be knocked down in the autumn. Originally, the council had planned to turn the area into a temporary park while they found occupants for the site although Coun Perkins said that might not be necessary now.

“Given that one developer has come forward we might well find we have a few others wanting to talk with us about the future of Aspen House,” Coun Perkins said.

“Obviously, we wouldn’t rush the process for the sake of it as we want to find the right development for that part of the town. “We have the new cinema opening in Regent Circus later in the year and it would be good to have something which will compliment that and the increased footfall which will be in the area.”

The public watched as demolition work continued at the Aspen House site yesterday.

Julie Wilson, 35, who was in the town centre with her three-year-old son Phil, said: “I was quite surprised to turn the corner and see that they were knocking it down and I do wonder what will come in and replace it.

“I just hope it’s something that will be a benefit to Swindon and is what the town really needs.”

Aspen House is boarded off with Swindon Council and Wiltshire Police warning the public of the dangers of going on the grounds after several reports of people sneaking into the site.

Anyone who spots people acting suspicious around the site is asked to call the police on 101.

Comments (5)

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7:50am Thu 29 May 14

Al Smith says...

What are the bets it'll be like kimmerfields, where the council has spend £millions (debt) yet the developer doesn't appear to have done anything with their own money yet? Perhaps it'll be like the Oasis, where the council removed all the terms in the lease that gave it some leverage over the developer and where no development has started yet even though it was due to start this summer?

Regent's circus probably only got built because Morrisons are in the middle of a massive expansion programme. The fact that there are still several empty units in the bar/restaurant part of the development (despite the opening being a few months away) says a lot about business confidence in the town centre.

I hope I'm proved wrong, I really do.
What are the bets it'll be like kimmerfields, where the council has spend £millions (debt) yet the developer doesn't appear to have done anything with their own money yet? Perhaps it'll be like the Oasis, where the council removed all the terms in the lease that gave it some leverage over the developer and where no development has started yet even though it was due to start this summer? Regent's circus probably only got built because Morrisons are in the middle of a massive expansion programme. The fact that there are still several empty units in the bar/restaurant part of the development (despite the opening being a few months away) says a lot about business confidence in the town centre. I hope I'm proved wrong, I really do. Al Smith
  • Score: 6

9:18am Thu 29 May 14

Davethered says...

How about another £15 million car park. After all the people going to Morrisons and the Cinema will have to park somewhere.
Then they can mothball the Farnsbury street car parks, and let the druggies sleep there in peace.
How about another £15 million car park. After all the people going to Morrisons and the Cinema will have to park somewhere. Then they can mothball the Farnsbury street car parks, and let the druggies sleep there in peace. Davethered
  • Score: 1

4:24pm Thu 29 May 14

matt71 says...

Al Smith wrote:
What are the bets it'll be like kimmerfields, where the council has spend £millions (debt) yet the developer doesn't appear to have done anything with their own money yet? Perhaps it'll be like the Oasis, where the council removed all the terms in the lease that gave it some leverage over the developer and where no development has started yet even though it was due to start this summer?

Regent's circus probably only got built because Morrisons are in the middle of a massive expansion programme. The fact that there are still several empty units in the bar/restaurant part of the development (despite the opening being a few months away) says a lot about business confidence in the town centre.

I hope I'm proved wrong, I really do.
Baths development around the railway station has still got two empty restaurant units and that has been open for at least 3 years.when it opened it was only 50% full ,so regents circus is doing ok.
[quote][p][bold]Al Smith[/bold] wrote: What are the bets it'll be like kimmerfields, where the council has spend £millions (debt) yet the developer doesn't appear to have done anything with their own money yet? Perhaps it'll be like the Oasis, where the council removed all the terms in the lease that gave it some leverage over the developer and where no development has started yet even though it was due to start this summer? Regent's circus probably only got built because Morrisons are in the middle of a massive expansion programme. The fact that there are still several empty units in the bar/restaurant part of the development (despite the opening being a few months away) says a lot about business confidence in the town centre. I hope I'm proved wrong, I really do.[/p][/quote]Baths development around the railway station has still got two empty restaurant units and that has been open for at least 3 years.when it opened it was only 50% full ,so regents circus is doing ok. matt71
  • Score: 6

5:57pm Thu 29 May 14

Al Smith says...

Thing is Bath isn't short of restaurants at the moment (near saturation point perhaps). It has half the population of Swindon but probably has more restaurants. I had a quick look at the Nando's website, Bath has two, Bristol has six!

Swindon shouldn't be struggling to pulling in these restaurant chains, but it is, that is worrying.
Thing is Bath isn't short of restaurants at the moment (near saturation point perhaps). It has half the population of Swindon but probably has more restaurants. I had a quick look at the Nando's website, Bath has two, Bristol has six! Swindon shouldn't be struggling to pulling in these restaurant chains, but it is, that is worrying. Al Smith
  • Score: 0

8:20am Fri 30 May 14

house on the hill says...

Al Smith wrote:
Thing is Bath isn't short of restaurants at the moment (near saturation point perhaps). It has half the population of Swindon but probably has more restaurants. I had a quick look at the Nando's website, Bath has two, Bristol has six!

Swindon shouldn't be struggling to pulling in these restaurant chains, but it is, that is worrying.
Actually that just confirms it is the make up of the people who live in various places. Clearly Swindon people are not the going to a restaurant type as much as they are in Bath. Like all economics, its about supply and demand. I think you will find there is a very different social economic make up of Bath to Swindon.
[quote][p][bold]Al Smith[/bold] wrote: Thing is Bath isn't short of restaurants at the moment (near saturation point perhaps). It has half the population of Swindon but probably has more restaurants. I had a quick look at the Nando's website, Bath has two, Bristol has six! Swindon shouldn't be struggling to pulling in these restaurant chains, but it is, that is worrying.[/p][/quote]Actually that just confirms it is the make up of the people who live in various places. Clearly Swindon people are not the going to a restaurant type as much as they are in Bath. Like all economics, its about supply and demand. I think you will find there is a very different social economic make up of Bath to Swindon. house on the hill
  • Score: 2

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