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[04 NOV 98] STRATFORD ON AVON DISTRICT COUNCIL NEWS
Bell Court Ding-Dong

Local traders believe a tragedy is being played out in Stratford-upon-Avon, home of the great Bard, William Shakespeare.

Some of them say that developers spending 10 million on refurbishing the Bell Court shopping mall, are trying to squeeze them out.

But Geoff Springer, director of the developers TBI, rejected their pessimistic claims.

"We have provided for a number of units which will be suitable and affordable for local people."

He added that he was endeavouring to implement a similar scheme to Dundee, where traders who did not move back into the refurbished mall were found other premises in the town centre.

Mr Springer said that everyone in Bell Court would be given this opportunity but added:

"If they do not want to take it, I can't help that."

The plans to go before Stratford District Council include a ground floor shopping area to be called Town Square and an upper court. The whole area will be under a glass roof.

But leaseholders in existing shops are not convinced. Quentin Richards of Dynasty said:

"They are knocking this down and they want me out."

Pat Brown, owner of Brown's Master Shoe Repairs, said he had been unable to obtain a guarantee that he would be given first refusal on a new shop when his lease ran out in 2001.

And Richard Mayes, whose jewellery shop has been in Bell Court for twenty years, said:

"My information is that when my lease expires my presence will no longer be required."
    

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CWN / Politics / Stratford on Avon District Council  / News / 04 Nov 98

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