Sainsbury's agrees contract on Heritage Quest Centre land swap in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 12:42 30 March 2010 | UPDATED: 22:11 31 May 2010

THE PROPOSED new Heritage Quest Centre (HQC) for Saffron Walden Museum can move to a better site after a land swap agreement was signed this week.

THE PROPOSED new Heritage Quest Centre (HQC) for Saffron Walden Museum can move to a better site after a land swap agreement was signed this week.

The contract means that if Sainsbury's receives planning consent for its store off Thaxted Road, it will transfer some of its land at the entrance to the former Granite site to Uttlesford District Council acting on behalf of the town's museum society.

This news means the HQC will benefit from both a more prominent stand alone site and dedicated access and car parking.

In return Sainsbury's will use the original HQC site to improve the layout and increase car parking numbers.

Chairman of the Saffron Walden Museum Society Ltd, Tony Watson, said: "The new site for the HQC would offer clear advantages over the old one as it is more visible and will help to attract more visitors to the centre.

"The new location also means that the HQC will have its own dedicated access and parking, which is good news for us."

Sainsbury's Development Surveyor, Michael Morris, said: "We are very pleased to have agreed a land swap with the district council that, subject to a successful planning consent, will enable an improved site for the HQC and an enhanced layout for our proposed store's car park.

"As part of the land agreement with the council, Sainsbury's has agreed to contribute £415,000. This will help pay for the HQC's relocation costs and planning application for the new site and generally giving the project greater financial security against any delays or other obstacles.

"Sainsbury's submitted application shows the HQC in its original position. This is because the land swap had not been finalized at the time of submission.

"If Sainsbury's receives planning consent for its proposals, we will produce a second application for the revised car park layout.

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