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Harlow Council’s regeneration boss defends decision to reject Marks and Spencers bid

Politics / Thu 23rd Oct 2014 at 11:29am

THE COUNCILLOR in charge of regeneration has commented on the decision by Harlow Council that could lead to the closure of Marks and Spencers in Harlow and the loss of sixty jobs.

Councillor Tony Durcan, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration & Enterprise, said: “Meetings have been held between the Council and senior executives of M & S over several months to explore options for keeping them in the town centre and we believe, particularly with the regeneration of the Town Centre, that a suitable home could be found for them. We also believe that residents and businesses want flagship stores with a long association with Harlow to stay in the Town Centre where they are easily accessible for shoppers of all ages.

“The Development Management Committee’s unanimous decision to reject planning permission is consistent with Harlow’s retail planning policies and national policies, which aim to protect the vitality and viability of the Town Centre. Despite this decision we will continue to press M & S to stay in the Town Centre and be part of its regeneration along with other retailers who are investing in the Town Centre. If local jobs do go, as a result of any decision by M & S and which we very much hope won’t be the case, then the Council will do everything it can working with other organisations to ensure those affected are provided advice and support to help them find new jobs.”

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