Mixed reaction to centre revamp plan

April 04 2017

MORE than 100 people living in and around Kingswood turned up at a public exhibition to have their say on proposals to redevelop Kings Chase Shopping Centre.

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MORE than 100 people living in and around Kingswood turned up at a public exhibition to have their say on proposals to redevelop Kings Chase Shopping Centre.

The day-long event, held on March 22 at an empty unit at the retail centre, allowed residents, shoppers and traders to consider options for an ambitious scheme, which could see the outdated multi-storey car park demolished and restaurants and shops put in its place.

A gym and replacement car park are also expected to form part of the plans.

Steamrock Capital, which manages the precinct, organised the event and say they will consider any comments before submitting plans to South Gloucestershire Council.

Graeme Jones, project lead from the company, said: “The multi-storey car park at Kings Chase Shopping Centre is underused and in desperate need of modernisation. We also believe this space can be better utilised.

“We are currently considering a number of options for the site with one option including shops, restaurants, a gym and a replacement car park but we wanted to hear from the Kingswood community about what they would like included before a final scheme is decided upon. We would like to thank everyone who came to our consultation event and shared their views.

“We will keep the community updated as plans progress.” 

Many people who attended the exhibition filled out a questionnaire which sought their views on whether they thought the multi-storey car park needs to be developed and what they would like to see included in the plans.

A lot of folk at the exhibition considered the car park to be outdated and ripe for development; however there were some concerns about paying for parking, although the current car park already charges.

Frances William-Cole, from Kingswood, said: "It's an eyesore and something needs to be done. It will be an improvement, it's got to be!

"I have parked here today but I've had to pay. There are free car parks in Kingswood but who wants to carry bags of shopping to the free car parks?"

Ann Exell, also from Kingswood, said: "I would hope any new shops would be different to the ones already in Kingswood. 

"I would be nice to see a Select (ladies fashion shop) open up as they've now gone from here. Something like they have at the retail park in Longwell Green would be lovely."

There was a mixed reaction from Mike and Mandy Selway who live at Kimberley Road which faces the car park at the back of the shopping centre.

Mrs Selway said: "There are pros and cons to it. We have had kids skateboarding in the car park and have had to move to the back of our house to escape the noise. At least they won't be able to do that if it is redeveloped.

"The car park needs to be free. We see people with BMWs and Jags who park on our road because they don't want to pay 60p to park in the car park."

Mr Selway said: "We live across the road so it means we will be living next to a building site but it looks a mess at the moment."

All feedback from the consultation, which closed on March 22, will be considered before a final plan is submitted to South Gloucestershire Council later this year.

Information is available at www.kingschaseredevelopment.co.uk