THE redevelopment of the Sheer House site in the centre of West Byfleet has taken another step forward with the departure of the last retail tenant.

Retirement Villages Group (RVG), which acquired the site in June this year, confirmed that Boots pharmacy on Station Approach has now closed.

James Ahearne, development director at RVG, said: “RVG is seeking to make good on our commitment to bring the site back to life as quickly as possible.”

Hoardings have also been erected around the site, ahead of schedule, ready for redevelopment work to begin.

Stewart Dick, chairman of Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association, commented: “I am delighted to see the progress already under way at Sheer House.

“The hoardings and site security now in place are welcome news to the local community, helping to allay residents’ concerns over anti-social behaviours.

“It is a small but important step, and I understand that the aesthetic appearance of the hoardings will be addressed in the near future.”

RVG plans to invest £90million to create mixed-use development on the Sheer House land. It is proposing about 200 homes with a mix of apartment sizes for sale and rent, many of them for retired people.

The scheme will also feature a range of amenities including a wellness centre, a pedestrianised square enclosed by retail and leisure use, a replacement public library and car park.

Mr Ahearne has said that the proposed redevelopment “will centre around the new public square at the heart of West Byfleet”.

He added: “We know that the public expects an improvement on the old office block, car park and shopping arcade, and has done for some time. We want a solution that will be seen as an integral part of the village.

“As well as the public library and car parking, we hope to attract independent local businesses to the retail units, which will be part of the redevelopment.”

RGV says that one of the new shops will be a pharmacy to replace Boots. In the meantime, Byfleet, West Byfleet and Pyrford Residents’ Association has posted a list of nearby chemist shops, including Cohens at West Byfleet Health Centre, on its website –