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.’
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