AN embarrassing 15-year wait to redevelop a Camberley car park may soon be over - or so Surrey Heath Council hopes.

Four companies have been short-listed by the council in its latest search for a developer for the land west of Park Street. The quartet were among 19 companies which expressed interest in building retail and leisure facilities, and homes, on the seven-acre site.

Among the assurances the council sought from the applicants were the availability of funding and the intended speed of delivery.

The short-listed companies are Stannifer Developments Ltd., Crest Nicholson, Thirlstone-Centros Miller and Wilson Bowden Developments.

In a statement the council said: "Each of these are substantial and experienced companies."

They have until March 14 to submit their formal financial bids and development proposals.

Coun. Gordon Parris, town centre working party chairman, said: "I am quite satisfied that any one of the four can create a solution that we will be proud of."

Similar hopes were entertained about the previous developer, THI, which went bust almost a year ago after receiving planning approval for a £60-million scheme.

The site was bought by the council for around £18-million in the 1980s, only for the recession to ruin the original development plans.