Second Stoke-on-Trent centre proposed
Published: 18 July, 2016
Fresh applications for a new shopping centre are soon to be submitted
Shoppers and businesses have given a cautious welcome to revised plans for a city centre shopping complex in Stoke on Trent. Real Estates has unveiled proposals for a 370,000-sq ft retail-led development on the sight of Hanley’s old bus station and the East West Precinct.
The developer’s original plans for the £350m City Sentral scheme were abandoned over two years ago, but the company have now said they will be submitting a fresh planning application before the end of the year.
The proposed development, which will be around half the size of City Sentral, will feature a 50,000-sq ft anchor store and 15 additional units. It will no longer include a cinema as proposed in the original scheme.
Paul Williams, head of the business school at Staffordshire University, believes that Hanley will be able to sustain a second shopping centre. He said: "These plans are realistic as they are a lot smaller than the original proposals. But it's important that the new centre complements the existing retail offer in Hanley, rather than competing with it.
“That would give people a reason to walk to that end of the city centre, and to linger in the area. But if the offer is the same as elsewhere in Hanley, it will just cannibalise the existing market. I understand this will be a retail-led development, but I hope it will include leisure as well. There needs to be something that will keep people in the city centre between 5pm and 7pm, so there isn't a lull between the day-time and night-time economies."
Realis managing director Duncan Mathieson said: "We are all working very hard towards submitting a planning application for our scheme and the screening process is one of many stages we need to complete before we can do so.
"We will be able to release more information over the coming weeks and months as we move towards the application and look forward to discussing the scheme with the people of Stoke-on-Trent at our public exhibition in the autumn."
The new plans will also go on view at a public exhibition running from September 8 to 10.