AN Otley shopping precinct has been sold to the country's largest privately owned property developer.

The Miller Group, which also deals in housebuilding and business construction, bought Orchard Gate as part of a £44.1 million property portfolio.

Sold by London-based Water-bridge, the Otley site is one of several retail, industrial and mixed-use sites bought up earlier this month by the Miller Group in central and northern England.

Phil Miller, chief executive of Miller Developments, said: "The Aqua portfolio has an interesting mix of properties, many with excellent active management opportunities and outstanding rent reviews in the short to medium term and some even have development opportunities in the longer term."

A spokesman for Orchard Gate's new managing agents, Jones Lang LaSalle, said there were no plans to make any changes to the centre and that discussions would be taking place with tenants to discuss maintenance issues.

In September last year, former owners Waterbridge at first asked tenants to pay the majority of a £28,000 refurbishment bill. The company later changed its mind.

Waterbridge also came under fire last year when it proposed closing the centre toilets because of repeated vandalism.