Following more than a year of battles between the Northwood community and Transport for London (TfL), which wanted to build a Sainsbury's on land in Station Approach and Green Lane, plans have been scrapped and a full public consultation will take place to determine what the town wants.
TfL have this week appointed an independent company, Make-Good, to carry out a consultation with residents and stakeholders, to ascertain what sort of development is preferred.
The Save Our Northwood (SON) committee met with the TfL executive responsible for the development, Peter Elliott, and two members of Make-Good on Wednesday last week (June 4).
"This is a good start to fresh negotiations about the development," said Tony Ellis, chair of SON and Northwood Residents' Association (NRA).
"It is refreshing that TfL are actually prepared to listen to residents - and possibly a first time.
"However, I remain sceptical until the final plans are agreed. I hope that all of the residents and stakeholders will take part in the consultation so that Northwood gets the type of development that it wants."
The roads are home to more than 20 independent businesses which would have been bulldozed if proposals went ahead.
"We were told by TfL that the contract with developers Bride Hall had been terminated and that they were starting with a clean sheet of paper," said Mr Ellis.
Make-Good plan to open an office in Northwood and carry out a four-month consultation to determine what the development should look like. They hope to start initial design work by the end of the year.
"TfL apologised for the crude way that they had imposed the original plans on us," he continued.
"They also confirmed that TfL has changed its policy of dealing with its non-operational estate; rather than selling sites to a developer and taking a one-off capital receipt they are now retaining ownership and developing sites themselves in order to maintain a regular income stream.
"Northwood is the first site to be developed in this way."
Mr Elliott has met with most of the affected tenants in Green Lane and Station Approach and apologised for the way the properties had been neglected.
"It is still SON's aim to preserve the integrity of the existing shops and businesses," he added.
Northwood ward councillor Scott Seaman-Digby (Con) said: "It shows the change in approach as pledged and that TfL have realigned their intentions as instructed by Boris.
"It's a positive development which I welcome albeit with caution that intentions need to be followed by positive and constructive actions and then plans."
More than 7,000 people signed a petition calling for a more 'sensitive approach' to plans, which was hand delivered to the Prime Minister in December.
In February, a meeting was held in parliament in which TfL agreed a dream U-turn and promised not to sell of the land to developers, Bride Hall.
TfL and Make-Good are holding a public meeting to explain the way forward. It will be at Emmanuel Church on Wednesday, July 2 at 8pm.