Saffron Walden: Hotel, restaurant and retail store form part of homes plan for Ridgeons site

PLANS to build a hotel, restaurant and retail store as part of a scheme to rejuvenate the Ridgeons site in Saffron Walden look set to be unveiled to the public in the coming weeks.

The proposal, on 13 hectares of land to the north of Ashdon Road, is also expected to include space for 170 homes.

Uttlesford District Council has received a screening application from Ridgeons – a precursor to an outline planning application – and a spokesman for the firm confirmed the next step would be to submit its proposal in full.

Ridgeons property director, Tony Greavett, said: “We are working on proposals to redevelop the Ashdon Road Centre, which Ridgeons owns as a whole.

“It is proposed that the new development will provide modern new business premises to replace the old buildings, which are the wrong size and type for modern occupier demands, and some new uses on the site.”

According to the application, the hotel is likely to be large enough for 40 beds, while one hectare of space has been earmarked for offices, an industrial facility and storage or distribution centre.

A restaurant is also in the initial proposal, alongside a retail centre which could include shops, a food store, takeaway restaurant and bank or building society.

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Mr Greavett added: “Most importantly for us, it [the proposal] will also provide a new branch for Ridgeons so we can continue to serve our dedicated client base and make a significantly increased contribution to local jobs provision in Saffron Walden at a time when jobs are all important.

“Ridgeons is committed to Saffron Walden and over the coming weeks will be consulting local residents and interest groups on the proposals in preparation for submitting an outline application later this summer.”