Wickes pulls out of Wincheap deal
Today we can announce that plans for Wickes to move into the former Homebase building in Wincheap, which we own, have fallen through.
We had been in advanced negotiations with Wickes and the company had applied for planning permission for some alterations to the site, which included removing some trees. This latter element resulted in a local campaign to retain the trees.
Our Planning Committee recently approved the application but not the loss of the trees. Wickes has now confirmed to us that not being able to remove the trees means they no longer want to go ahead with the deal.
Clearly this is a complex and sensitive issue. On the one hand, the rental income from having a tenant in the building would have been very helpful at a time when our finances are perilous, and it would have provided a good boost to the local economy.
On the other, people were concerned about the trees, and we understand that.
We are, though, still keen to see this site occupied and will work with local people to try and find a solution. It is in a prime location that is popular with shoppers, and we want to avoid it becoming permanently vacant and a blight to the area.
We very much hope we can find a tenant for whom the trees will not be a concern, and that this key site will once again be back in use.
Published: 8 September 2020