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Shopping for ideas

By Peter Harris


Public opinion is being sought on plans to turn council-owned land into a retail and leisure complex that could help to revitalise shopping in Ollerton.

Ollerton and Boughton Town Council is displaying ideas for a new town centre after it bought the former Courtaulds factory site on Rufford Avenue, Ollerton, because it was keen to protect the commercial viability of the town centre.

The leader of the town council, Mr Ben Wells, said councillors saw the 0.8-acre site as a key point in the town in maintaining a thriving environment for independent and traditional retailers who face tough competition from supermarkets such as Tesco.

He said the site has been earmarked for quality retail, leisure and hospitality, and plans were under way to create a new look for Ollerton.

He said they were hoping to attract major high street retailers to the town, such as Marks and Spencer, and said he believed some would be interested because Ollerton was a boom town.

Mr Wells said: “Ollerton has continued to grow in a sustainable manner with new developments like Sherwood Energy Village.

“Nothing is definite or set in stone. These are just an architect’s drawings of the sort of thing which could be there, but it is all subject to consultation with the town’s residents.”

Mr Wells said the aim was to open up the land and create a link between Forest Road and Rufford Avenue.

He said they envisaged some form of market area lined with shops, cafés, and toilets.

He said there was also scope for including housing in the development.

Mr Wells said the town council was looking to enter into a partnership with a developer to implement the plans when they were finalised.

He said it was not something the council could carry out on its own so the developer could buy or lease the land from it.

He said: “Ollerton is a forward-looking place and we are moving with the times.

“We have been very open about this and want people’s input because we have seen mistakes regarding the timing of consultation in other areas with similar developments.

“It is important that we give Ollerton and its people the town centre they deserve. We will welcome any comments that the public wish to make.”

The artist’s impressions, drawn up by Jackson Design Associates, can be viewed at Ollerton Town Hall from 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday.

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