Developer pulls out

A DEVELOPER who offered to bulldoze Northgate House and the central library to build a Primark store has pulled out.

The Gregory Group will soon be completing work on the Broad Street Plaza and had hoped to go on to redevelop Northgate.

But six months after putting in its bid, it has withdrawn.

Council economy spokesman Coun Barry Collins said: “The council never sought such an offer and it was never fully discussed. Should the Northgate site be disposed of, it would be done through an open market process – that was always the intention.”

Councillors want to demolish Northgate House, the council’s administrative offices, which they say would cost £15 million to refurbish, and to open an information centre at Broad Street.

When the Gregory Group announced its proposals for Northgate, managing director David Brimblecombe said it would only work if it incorporated the whole area, including the library.

His aim was to put up a 100,000 sq ft two-storey building, almost half of which would be occupied by Primark.

Two months ago, the council’s cabinet recommended Northgate House and the Central Library be disposed of for retail use.

But public opposition to relocating the library persuaded councillors to consult further.