'Pitiful' celebrations in Weston at Mall decision
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 October 2018
Social media users are unhappy plans to expand The Mall shopping centre at Bristol's Cribbs Causeway have been torn up, despite claims from political chiefs the decision is good for Weston-super-Mare's businesses.
The out-of-town complex could have grown by 50 per cent with new shops, restaurants and a hotel after South Gloucestershire Council granted planning permission in 2016.
The scheme sparked concerns it would harm nearby retail areas, including suffocate Weston’s regeneration efforts which have seen millions ploughed into projects like the revamp of Dolphin Square.
The Government agreed, over-ruling South Gloucestershire’s decision and denying planning permission earlier this month after a conducting a review of the proposals.
Weston MP John Penrose, who feared the town would suffer if the plans were approved, said: “Our businesses will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing £39million in trade won’t be taken from our local economy, and investors looking at Weston won’t be given a reason to second guess setting up shop here.”
Many people took to social media to share their view.
Chris Meyer commented: “Can’t see that it will make a lot of difference other than spin for headlines. The truth is, what were once commercial retail properties are being turned into houses in Orchard Meadows, the High Street is littered with dilapidated and empty buildings and little sign of that changing.
“If the best we can hope for in Weston is to celebrate another town or city’s loss, that is pitiful.”
Rob Heal said: “Weston could be reborn in the retail sector, if it (North Somerset Council) got rid of the excessive parking meter system, returning too true traffic warden control, reducing business rates and investing in cleaning the entire precinct to a far better level.”
Leighton Smart wrote: “Such a shame it was rejected. Weston has nothing to offer and never will.
“Internet shopping isn’t killing the high street, extortionate parking prices are.
Leslie Beavan said: “At least Weston is looking better than a lot of towns. I was in Weymouth earlier this year, really run down. Also went to Gloucester and the town is looking very bad.”
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