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Minister turns down Chapman Taylor’s Bristol shopping centre extension

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Housing secretary James Brokenshire has rejected Chapman Taylor’s plans to extend a shopping centre in the South West.

The minister acted in line with a planning inspector recommendation to turn down plans for a major addition and transformation of The Mall on Cribbs Causeway near Bristol.

Chapman Taylor submitted plans to South Gloucestershire District Council in 2014 to create more than 35,000m2 of new shopping space along with other facilities at the shopping centre in Patchway.

Council planning officers recommended approval but the application was called in by then housing secretary Sajid Javid last year, with Bristol City Council objecting to the scheme. Now Javid’s successor has ruled against the scheme.

Brokenshire ruled that the proposal was ‘likely to have a significant adverse impact on planned private investment and the vitality and viability of Bristol city centre’.

Government planning inspector Christina Downes warned in April that more than £60 million of spending on so-called comparison goods – those consumers shop around for – could be diverted from Bristol city centre to The Mall in 2024.

She said this would be ‘likely to result in a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Bristol city centre’.

Chapman Taylor board director Adrian Griffiths said the practice, which has recently seen the departure of a handful of senior figures, had viewed the scheme at The Mall as ‘a possible project for the future’. 

Philip Vaughan, director of development and construction at M&G Real Estate said the joint owners of The Mall were ‘disappointed’ by the minister’s decision.

’The Mall is a very successful centre, attracting shoppers from across the South West, and bringing in visitors from far afield,’ he added. ’Despite this setback, we will continue to review how the centre adapts to respond to the changing retail sector, as well as the evolving needs of our shoppers.’

South Gloucestershire Council leader Toby Savage said: ‘Of course we are disappointed, we believe that this project would have brought new jobs and investment to the area, but at the same time, there are plenty of reasons to be excited for the future.

‘There is new growth planned through the Filton Airfield redevelopment and the wider Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood. These will bring not just new homes, but the community infrastructure needed to ensure that for locals and newcomers alike.’ 

Chapman taylor cribbs

Chapman taylor cribbs 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The Mall is very successful because it's near the intersection of the M4 and M5, with over a million people within easy driving distance.
    The Bristol city centre 'comparison goods' retail offer is vulnerable to competition from Cribbs Causeway because at the latter you hardly need to use your legs at all, whereas the city centre needs an enormous shake-up to overcome the disadvantages of inadequate coordination of public transport and the legacy of a post war inner ring road that isolates Temple Meads station from the centre and leaves pedestrians treated as an inconvenient nuisance.
    Fanciful talk of an underground railway system is like Nero fiddling while Rome burns; there is ongoing investment in improving one suburban rail route, but even progress on the glaringly obvious need to revive the line from Portishead is so unbelievably slow that it could only be happening in England.
    The 2001 project for a five route tram network - starting with a line from the city centre out past Temple Meads station to the northern suburbs, Bristol Parkway station and Aztec West at the M4/M5 junction - was well on the way, with major government funding, when South Gloucestershire Council pulled out because WS Atkins established that it would not be viable to divert the route to their shopping mall at Cribbs Causeway.
    The City council subsequently 'bottled it' in 2004 (eight years before George Ferguson became mayor)
    So Bristol has lost fourteen years in the search (?) for much better urban and suburban transport links.
    The council's recent decision 'late in the day' to take the advice of one of the infamous 'big four' accountancy firms to cancel building the arena next to Temple Meads station in favour of a site out near the Cribbs Causeway Mall does the city no favours at all, and it's now left to the Housing Secretary to offer some damage limitation.
    The Merchant Venturers of old must be turning in their graves..

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