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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 17:38 GMT
Row over town centre development
The council favours a 750m revamp for Telford town centre
The chief executive of Telford & Wrekin Council has criticised plans to develop Telford Shopping Centre.

Draft proposals for extending the centre were publicly displayed at the weekend by the centre's owners, USS.

The council favours a more radical scheme involving the whole town centre, which would span 15 years.

Michael Frater called USS's stance "bizarre", but the firm said its plans reflected the council's vision and would kick-start wider regeneration.

'Master plan'

Mr Frater told BBC News: "More than a year ago I invited USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme), English Partnerships and the International Centre to work with us.

"That's the four major landowners in the town - to develop a master plan for the town centre so that we could get the best use of everybody's land.

"But if we develop it in pieces according to the boundaries of who owns what, we won't get a coherent plan.

"English Partnerships and the International Centre were really enthusiastic, and have been working closely with us.

"USS's representatives at the meeting - well, I'd describe them as taking their bat and ball home."

We have always enjoyed a good working relationship with Telford & Wrekin Borough Council
Graham Burnett, USS

USS's Fund Manager for Retail Property, Graham Burnett said the company was "delighted" with the public response to its plans.

He said "These comments are now being carefully analysed and will help fine tune our proposals.

"USS's intention remains to submit a planning application in respect of our land in the coming months.

"We have always enjoyed a good working relationship with Telford & Wrekin Borough Council and we will continue to liaise with them."

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