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New plans to replace parade of shops in Eaglescliffe destroyed by fire
5:08pm Monday 18th March 2013 in News
NEW PLANS are being drawn up to rebuild a row of shops destroyed by fire last year.
A public consultation has been held over the regeneration of Orchard shops, on Durham Lane, Eaglescliffe, which is described as “the heart of the area.”
Two plans have been put before the public, one to simply replace the previous parade of shops and the other to include a much larger unit at the opposite end of the parade to Sainsbury’s Local store.
Architects at Sanderson Weatherall are likely to request planning permission for both schemes.
Project architect Andrew Wilkinson has said that the second option would give the parade longevity and flexibility for the future.
The shops burned down in May last year. The fire is believed to have originated in Figaro’s pizza shop.
A subsequent investigation by Cleveland Fire Brigade and Cleveland Police concluded that the fire was started deliberately.
The Sainsbury’s store at the end of the parade was able to re-open days afterwards but the remainder of the shops were too badly damaged, and were demolished in November.
The meeting, held at Eaglescliffe Community Centre, provided an opportunity for local residents, including the shops’ tenants, to view and comment on the plans.
Mr Wilkinson described the returning tenants as the “first priority,” and that the plans received a “mainly positive response” from them. The process of filling empty units is also underway.
He added that the plans were being tailored by comments from the consultations, so that the new buildings are fit for purpose.
The community centre has raised concerns that a new larger unit might obscure their building, and event posters and banners, to passers-by.
Maureen Rigg, Liberal Democrat councillor for Eaglescliffe, gave a “qualified approval” for the plans, should the community centre’s concerns be addressed.
She said: “I would back plans that the community centre were happy with 100 per cent.”
Coun Rigg said she hoped the application would be submitted later this week.