Aylesbury has once again taken another encouraging step forward on the road to economic recovery.
And after years of ‘will they won’t they’ Sainsbury’s now has full planning permission for a huge new store fronting Gatehouse Road and Bicester Road.
A total of 2,685 people (95%) said they supported or ‘tended to support’ the proposals during a public consultation and with key plans to revamp and expand the existing store in Buckingham Street it is another long term boon for the area.
For me, and I know many others, another supermarket in Aylesbury doesn’t rock my boat but from an economic point of view the decision by Sainsbury’s to invest even further in our beloved community is significant.
At least now another huge bit of wasteland will be filled in and made fit for purpose and of course there will be the inevitable road and infrastructure improvements agreed with the council, including turning Gatehouse Road into a dual carriageway.
Then, of course, there is the agreed investment planned around the existing Sainsbury’s off New Road and the creation of an extra 300 jobs.
Plus with permission to build scores of flats and expand the existing store, it is another tatty area of the town that can be crossed off the grot spot list.
With work already under way in the town centre to build flats at the old AVDC offices above Friars Square, the opening of the restaurant chain Wagamama and Nando’s near the Aylesbury cinema and some key investments by Travelodge and Waitrose, it is clear to see Aylesbury is on the move again.
But what should come next for Aylesbury?
Well, if money was no option top of my to do list would be to turn the old Crown Court building in Market Square and the Judge’s Lodgings into a fabulous hotel restaurant and spa.
Then I would renovate the old county council offices opposite county hall and turn them into more flats.
Remember not all homes need to be built on flood plains around towns.
I would then take areas like Buckingham Street and build more homes, moving existing shops and businesses into the centre to fill the empty retail units.
So there you have it – a man with a bit of a plan.
But is it all just pie in the sky? What do you think?
What would you do with Aylesbury town centre?
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