THE infamous Mount Crushmore is no more, as work continues on the new St Stephen’s Place Leisure Park in Trowbridge.
Two months after work started on the project, the pile of rubble which has been there since the old Tesco store was demolished in the the 1990s has gone, being reused to level the site.
Construction company Leadbitter Group is carrying out the development, due to be finished in October 2013.
It will have a seven-screen Odeon cinema, an 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, family restaurants, cafes and bars and 111 parking spaces.
Tim Russell, senior asset manager at landowners Legal & General Property, said: “We are extremely pleased by the progress that has already been made on site by Leadbitter Group, with the piling phase of works advancing well and the steel frame now on order.
“We will make sure we keep the people of Trowbridge updated on this exciting project, especially with such a rapidly changing landscape as the work continues at a pace.”
About 65 per cent of the piling for the cinema is done and this phase of the project is expected to be finished in the next month. The hotel and restaurant piling is due to follow immediately.
Mr Russell said Legal & General had agreed terms with national restaurant operators to occupy some of the buildings and would announce the traders soon.
Wiltshire Council members Jeff Osborn and Graham Payne have released a statement claiming the authority’s Western Area Planning Committee missed a great opportunity when it passed plans for the St Stephen’s Place development as it did not place any section 106 obligations on developers.
Under section 106 agreements, Legal & General Property could have been asked to provide improvements to facilities close to their new development.
The councillors statement said: “Surprisingly in this case, there were no Section 106 legal obligations placed. “Such agreements are usual with large developments and require developers to provide improvements, or money to do so, to facilities close to the development. This process is known as planning gain.”
They suggested the committee could have, for example, asked the developer to pay for improvements to and manage the nearby multi-storey car park.
They said: “The granting of planning permission without such significant planning gain seems to us to be a most regrettable lost opportunity. Trowbridge and its inhabitants will be the losers.”
The Planning Inspectorate is inviting comments from the public on the appeal against Wiltshire Council’s decision to block a cinema development on the former Bowyers site in Trowbridge.
Plans to turn the derelict factory in Stallard Street into a cinema, restaurants and Morrisons supermarket were rejected by councillors earlier this year.
The refusal prompted an appeal from Optimisation Development Ltd but a date for the hearing is still to be set.
Comment letters, in triplicate, can be sent to Planning Inspect-orate, Room 3/19a, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, quoting reference number W/11/02689/FUL by September 19.
For more information about the appeal process, see the website www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk.