New store plan

A PROMINENT town centre store in Portishead could be demolished and replaced with a three-storey department store. Plans have been submitted

A PROMINENT town centre store in Portishead could be demolished and replaced with a three-storey department store.Plans have been submitted to North Somerset Council to knock down Worthington's in the High Street and build a new three-storey store.The store was sold last year to retail giant Mackays Stores Ltd, which has put forward the department store plans.It is intended to sell a range of items from ladies clothing to household goods and open a small, second floor coffee shop.Singleton Architects, which has drawn up the plans, said the redevelopment would improve the existing street scene and provide a more open and bright shopping experience for customers.In a letter to North Somerset Council, Singleton Architects said: "Although the overall building profile and detailing to the upper floors are in sympathy with the High Street, we feel that the existing building is not worthy of keeping in terms of the proposed development."The proposed building would improve the street scene whilst being sympathetic to the scale and detail of the High Street, at the same time, reflecting the department store nature of the proposal."The High Street access to the store would be improved as part of the plans and 10 car parking spaces provided at the rear of the building.Stone from the current building would also be reused as part of the new development.The news that one of Portishead's most prominent High Street stores could be demolished has sparked a mixed reaction from local councillors.Portishead and North Weston Town Council planning committee chairman, Councillor Jean Lord, said: "I am very torn on this application."Where I have concerns about damaging the current Victorian High Street I understand that if Portishead is to grow and meet the needs of the community, some changes to our High Street buildings may be needed."The application will be discussed in full by councillors at the next planning committee in March.

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