Prime retail spot in 'The Exchange' to become orthodontists after 'no interest from retail sector'

The Exchange Street development
The Exchange Street development

Aylesbury residents have been left baffled by the decision to allow two new units of the prestige development, designed to attract shoppers to the area - to be an orthodontists.

Aylesbury Vale District Council describe the Exchange as: "A brand new spaces for restaurants, a fantastic public square and much-needed homes right in the heart of Aylesbury town centre.

"Four restaurants, with 47 one and two bedroom apartments above and a stunning new public square should be completed by early 2019.

"Long Lional, a busy pedestrian route to the High Street, will also be improved to help support existing businesses and create two new business spaces which could be used in a variety of ways including retail, food and beverage or offices."

People took to twitter to question whether this would be a good use of the prime retail spot, and whether it would bring shoppers into the heart of the town centre.

On twitter many have panned the decision, claiming it's an 'epic fail' - allowing two prime retail units to be turned into a dentist.

Other's said they were fed up with the town centre, and this decision didn't help matters.

The planning report states: "It would be preferable that the unit remained as retail [...] but there has been no interest from retail sector."

Teresa Lane, who is heading up the project disagreed, suggesting the uses of the units was always meant to be flexible.

"The potential uses for the commercial units facing Long Lional was always kept open and flexible - to be able to respond positively to the changing nature of town centres. They were never designated as retail only.

"There are 47 apartments in the development which is an example of the growing residential population in the town centre and these residents need easy access to all amenities - including health and dental services: so making provision for an orthodontist in this location is appropriate.

"While AVDC welcomes retail it has always encouraged other uses in the town centre - as evidenced by the recent change of use for the Aylesbury Escape Rooms in Temple Street.

"Of the four food and beverage units contacts have been exchanged on two - Zizzi and Loungers [Loungers has commenced fitting out] - we are expecting exchange of contracts on a further unit shortly and offers are currently being considered for the final unit."