Spring start for new square?

AN EYE-CATCHING revamp of a shopping centre in Weston is on track to start in the spring after a planning application was submitted.

McLaren Life want to spend �35million on regenerating Dolphin Square with a leisure complex.

The ambitious scheme would include a 1,200-seat, eight-screen cinema, indoor bowling alley plus 16 retail and restaurant units.

There would also be a 112-bed Premier Inn hotel and Brewers Fayre restaurant, plus 380-space car park off Carlton Street.

The developer, which is targeting spring as a date to start work on the site, says the new centre would create about 450 jobs.

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A planning application was submitted to North Somerset Council this week, with a decision expected soon in the New Year.

Company director Simon Berry said: “We set ourselves the challenging target of getting an application in before Christmas because we believe a new Dolphin Square is a key component for Weston’s continued regeneration.

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“We have been delighted with the response from members of the community towards our plans during the consultation process.

“The council’s planning officers have also worked hard to move this project forward.”

The submission follows a consultation held by the developer which showed ‘good support’ for the initial design concepts.

So far Vue Cinema and Premier Inn have signed up for the project, but many more are expected as the plans progress.

The plans follow the purchase of the shopping area by McLaren Life at the beginning of December.

The company took control from Hansteen Life, which incorporated the lease when it took over from Kilmartin London in 2007.

The five-storey courtyard development was built in the 1960s, but is now judged to have very limited architectural merit and is not considered worthy of retention.

McLaren Life hopes to start work on the hotel in spring, before completing the car park and square in stages.

The target is to have the site fully open by spring 2013.

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