No need for further William Hunter Way consultation

December 14, 2007 12:00 AM
By Jamie Forsyth in Brentwood Weekly News

ENOUGH has been done to seek the Brentwood public's views on the William Hunter Way development, according to Tory councillors.

Liberal Democrat councillors said that the withdrawal of the plans for the six-screen cinema, restaurant, flats and retail complex by developers Halladale provided an ideal window for a borough-wide consultation exercise before the plans are re-submitted.

David Kendall (Lib Dem, Pilgrims Hatch) said: "There are a number of people around the borough that had an opinion and the point of this motion is to get their opinion. Let's get as many of our residents on board as possible and get their views.

"Whatever we decide on this site is going to have a major impact on this town for years to come, we have got to get this decision right."

However, the ruling Conservative administration voted out the proposal during a meeting of the council on Wednesday, claiming that an extra consultation would be expensive and unnecessary.

Brandon Lewis (Cons, Hutton South) said: "I can't believe there's anybody in the borough who doesn't know about the development of William Hunter Way. It is not like it is going to be a surprise for anybody.

"We got elected to make these decisions. We as members will have to have a decision based on planning law. That is the proper way to do it.

"There will be a very lively and proper debate when it comes before full council and I'm quite happy to stick with that."

Chris Hossack (Cons, Hutton East) added: "When the council conducts consultation exercises there are costs involved. I don't think a consultation will tell this council anything it doesn't already know, and I don't think it represents value for money."

A total of 24 members voted against the proposal for a borough-wide consultation, with ten, surprisingly including Conservative mayor Frank Kenny, voting in favour.