Residents and dignatries were delighted on Monday to witness the start of demolition of the eyesore that was Laindon Shopping Centre, bringing a bright new future for the town centre.
The Swan Housing team were joined by local MP for Basildon and Billericay John Baron, Mark Francois MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, Stephen Metcalfe MP for Basildon South and East Thurrock, as well as members of the local community and local ward councillors to watch the start of the demolition of the shopping centre, which Swan bought in 2015 as they wanted to make sure it was redeveloped to meet the needs of Laindon as a town.
The ‘Laindon Place’ development will transform the dilapidated and unattractive inward-looking shopping centre into a thriving new high street including new shops, a health centre and even a new Swan office, to which Swan’s Billericay based staff will relocate.
There will be stylish new homes too, all set in high-quality public space. The local community have been widely consulted and Laindon Place has been designed to be at the heart of a revitalised Laindon, benefitting existing and new residents.
Sam Wait, Swan’s Director of Business Development and Communications said:
“Swan have an unwavering commitment to seeing the successful regeneration of the centre and today we were thrilled to see the demolition begin, to make way for ‘Laindon Place’.
We are confident that Laindon Place will really deliver for the local community, so it was great to see so many stakeholders here with us today.
“We will continue to maintain essential local services during the regeneration work and can’t wait to bring a new High Street with shops, a new medical centre, a Swan office to which our staff from Billericay will relocate too, as well as fantastic new public realm and 224 much needed new homes.”
John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay said: “The start of the demolition of Laindon Shopping Centre is a true milestone towards its transformation into a modern and vibrant hub, which will include a new high street, medical centre and affordable homes.
“It has been great teamwork between all involved including Swan NU living, Basildon Council, Local Councillors, Stakeholders and MPs. We very much look forward to following the progress of this regeneration.”
Local Resident Christine Davis said: “This area is very friendly and my community is so diverse.
“We have so many people of all ages living here including many friends. I can’t wait for Laindon to become a vibrant high street again and look forward to the new houses bringing new families to the area’
Since launching the initial commercial marketing strategy last year, Swan have been delighted to receive over 60 enquiries from individuals and businesses interested in leasing the new retail units in Phase 1.
Swan launched temporary units earlier this year to ensure essential services are maintained throughout the regeneration.
Swan are confident that they will be able to achieve a good mix of retailers, homes and public space to make Laindon Place a new heart of the community at Laindon.