Future's on hold for town centre traders
PUBLISHED: 15:43 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 22:09 26 October 2009
SHOPKEEPERS were left with mixed feelings upon hearing news that plans to revamp a town centre had been put on the back burner. Many Hatfield store owners, who had been expecting to close later this year, discovered their fate when reading news of the del
SHOPKEEPERS were left with mixed feelings upon hearing news that plans to revamp a town centre had been put on the back burner.
Many Hatfield store owners, who had been expecting to close later this year, discovered their fate when reading news of the delay exclusively in last week's WHT.
Stores destined for closure to accommodate the regeneration of the town centre were given a 'reprieve' after developers and council chiefs confirmed that work would not commence this year. Some shopkeepers were happy that they would continue trading, but disappointed that they had to learn about the delay through the WHT.
Michelle Strange, who works at Tashes n' Tails fancy dress shop, said she was indifferent about the delay and described Hatfield as a "dive".
"The manager was contacted about two months ago and told we have to vacant our premises by the end of May," she said.
"She was told last month that we could continue with our lease.
"I am happy to be staying but it's disappointing for Hatfield because no one comes to the town at the moment."
* Vic Patel, manager of the JST Ltd furniture warehouse, was "very pleased" to be staying but claimed he had very little information about the revamp from developers.
"We have tried for a while to contact St Modwen to find out the situation but they have not got back to us," he said.
"We found out after everyone else knew."
* Jackie Ola, owner of Beauty Place, told the WHT that she had refrained from decorating her hair salon due to the supposed pending regeneration.
She said: "I am looking forward to seeing work finished if it ever starts because the town needs a facelift but at the same time I'm glad that we know that we can stay here."
* Another shopkeeper said the news the revamp was being put on hold was a "great shame for the town".
He said: "In my eyes developers have taken the people for a song. There have been murmurs going around the town that this most recent plan would be delayed for quite a while now."
* Manager of the V and M store, Roz White, said she was not surprised to hear that the project had been put on hold.
"They have been saying they will do something for years but they never will. Shops are shutting up all over the place.
"It would be nice if it did but you can redevelop the area but it won't change the people that smash my windows.
"We have boarded up so many windows that we will be trading in the dark.
"It has got to the point that if the doors to the shop are broken down when we arrive in the morning it is just another day to us.
"Hatfield is just not an attractive place to redevelop.
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