Sovereign Land has submitted an outline planning application for a £200 million, five-year strategy to redevelop Telford Town Centre.
The proposals will see the 1 million ft² (approx. 92,900 m²) Telford Shopping Centre increase in size by up to 80%, with a net increase of almost 400,000 ft² of retail and 250,000 ft² of restaurants, cafés, bars and other eateries as well as a cinema and hotel.
Commenting on the planning application, Sovereign Land chairman Tim Binnington said: “Our proposals represent a major commercial redevelopment opportunity that will help to transform Telford into a regional retail and leisure destination. More than that, they are a vital part of a strategy for creating a new future for one of the UK’s important New Towns.
“Telford was designated a New Town in 1963 and Telford Shopping Centre, which forms the vast majority of the town center, is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. Over the years, the town center has evolved piecemeal and parts of it are showing their age. We now want to take the town forward to the next stage with a considered, planned regeneration strategy.
“Telford & Wrekin Council is already making great strides – having successfully turned Telford into one of the fastest growing towns in the UK, initiated the £250 million Southwater leisure and civic development on a site adjacent to the shopping center (where phase 1 is due for completion next year) and have exciting plans for residential, school and transport renewal.
“Our proposals for the Town Centre are fully integrated with the Council’s wider strategy and urban design ambitions. By working with the Council and other stakeholders we aim to make Telford a better place for residents, businesses and visitors.”
Ares Management (previously AREA Property Partners) appointed Sovereign Land to asset manage Telford Shopping Centre at the beginning of the year. The Centre, which sits on a 70-acre site in the center of Telford, comprises more than 170 retail units including House of Fraser, Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Primark.
The planning application follows the strong public support for the outline proposals expressed at the recent exhibition. More than 1,225 people visited the public exhibition held at the beginning of July. Nearly 70% of those that completed a questionnaire stated that they were in favor of the proposed approach to the redevelopment of Telford Shopping Centre. Only 8% were not in favor.
Designed by architects Benoy, the masterplan flags four key areas for redevelopment – the Northern Quarter site (currently occupied by ASDA), Central Square, the Southern Quarter and the Bus Station. The strategy also seeks to establish key urban design principles that will shape the way in which the development is delivered.
• greater integration with the rest of the town center
• a greater choice of pedestrian routes across the town
• new public squares and spaces lined with active uses such as restaurants and cafés, open during the day and into the evening
• new landmark buildings at key gateways into the town center
• active retail frontages onto the Box Road which surrounds the town center.
Sovereign Land's Paul Bailey, who is responsible for letting the scheme, said: “The significant increase in the amount of retail space would allow us to provide the modern units that today’s retailers want. This, together with the new restaurants, cafés and leisure uses and the many urban design improvements, will give us a critical mass to transform Telford Town Centre into a real regional retail and leisure destination.
“This will ensure that Telford better serves the needs and desires of more people from across a wider catchment area, allowing the town to capture a higher proportion of spend and, consequently, more investment and more jobs.
“These proposals, together with the Southwater development and other Council and private sector investments, create a huge momentum for positive change in Telford. It’s exciting to be part of it.”
Subject to securing the necessary consents, work on the first phase of the development (the Northern Quarter) could start as early as Spring next year – as soon as ASDA relocates to its new store nearby. The remaining sites would follow shortly afterwards.
It is estimated that the development will create up to 3,000 permanent new jobs plus more than 1,000 construction jobs.
GL Hearn are planning consultants.
Source: Sovereign Land