RESIDENTS frustrated by silence after a redevelopment project fell flat have not been forgotten about, a council has insisted.

Fresh complaints have surfaced over the state of grotty Abingdon town centre area The Charter, which was set for a £50m overhaul this time last year.

Shoppers and residents were dealt a blow nine months ago when leaseholders admitted they had canned redevelopment plans, and were concerned about the lack of update ever since from owners Vale of White Horse District Council.

Friends of Abingdon Civic Society chairman Bryan Brown said: "It's frustrating as it's such an important part of the town. People would like to know what's going to happen; we want a bit of clarity.

"It's such a beautiful town and footfall has greatly improved yet we've still got that ugly bit.

"We've got wonderful independent stores and we want to make the town distinctive."

In March, Aberdeen Asset Management announced it had pulled out of its £50m agreement with the council to transform the area, which encompasses a car park, health surgery and library.

The company blamed an unsuccessful struggle to attract a supermarket to the site.

Julie Downing manager of Abingdon BID, which supports moves to create a business improvement district, said The Charter was 'not a good first impression' for people entering the town from the multi-storey car park.

She added: "It needs to be brought up to date. It feels like Abingdon is almost being left behind.

"The council is keeping very quiet. I would like to push for information and for things to be sorted.

"The council needs to know people have negative feelings.

"The talk of redevelopment has been going on for so many years.

"People are getting fed up. I understand there are budget cuts but something has to be done."

District council spokeswoman Patsy Cusworth said: "Residents are not being forgotten.

"This is definitely something we are looking at and hopefully we will have updates in the new year."

The council lodged a planning application earlier this month to redevelop toilets in the multi-storey car park with a new roof, separate to the wider £800,000 redevelopment of the car park that was announced earlier this year.

Councillor Sandy Lovatt said he was keen to set out ambitions for The Charter in Abingdon Town Council's forthcoming community-led plan and hoped to champion leisure facilities such as a small cinema.

He added: "There is a chicken and egg process – to attract big [retail] players they have got to feel it's worth putting money into Abingdon to create a business that people come to.

"I believe to set up The Charter as more of a social and community centre is important."

Part one of the Vale of White Horse's recently-adopted Local Plan pledged that by 2031 The Charter 'will have been comprehensively and attractively redeveloped'.