‘Are firms avoiding our town?’

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CLAIMS that close to one million square feet of office and industrial space is lying empty in Hemel Hempstead have been disputed.

Winreb Finance says office vacancy exceeded take-up by more than three to one in 2009.

The firm says land designated for office use on the site of the former John Dickinson paper mill has not sold despite nine years of marketing.

It has applied to build a five-storey block of flats on the London Road site in Apsley instead.

In a planning report to Dacorum Borough Council, the firm claims there are nearly one million square feet of empty offices now being marketed in Hemel Hempstead.

But Chris Taylor, the council’s group manager for strategic planning and regeneration, has cast doubt on the figures.

She said a regeneration scheme is under way in the Maylands Industrial Estate.

She said: “The plans are all in place. We are just waiting for the economy to turn the corner.”

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