The Mall at Cribbs Causeway seeks expansion

The Mall at Cribbs Causeway
Image caption The owners of The Mall at Cribbs Causeway want to expand shop floor space by 35,000 sq m

Controversial proposals to expand The Mall at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol by two-thirds could "devastate" nearby town centres, opponents have said.

The Mall at Cribbs Causeway believes the plans would safeguard its status as "a major employer and leading regional destination for the South West".

But opponents fear the plan would drive shoppers away from town centres.

South Gloucestershire Council is set to debate the expansion as part of its blueprint for growth.

'Positive move'

A spokesman for The Mall said: "The joint owners remain committed to their long term investment at The Mall and feel the provisional allocation of additional retail space is a positive move by the council to safeguard its long term future."

The hope is to build a new flagship store or attract other retailers with an extension of 114,380 sq ft [35,000 sq m] in floor space.

North Somerset and Bristol City councils have both said any expansion would reduce trade in Weston by 11% and in Bristol by 10%.

Bristol City Council said the owners had not worked with local authorities on the impact of the expansion and the plans would "harmfully disrupt investment and growth" across high streets.

In Weston-super-Mare there are fears the expansion would undermine the multi-million pound Dolphin Square shopping centre development.

Bristol's Cabot Circus and The Mall in Broadmead [also known as The Galleries] have also objected to the Cribbs Causeway proposals.

The planning inspectorate will make recommendations to the council in September over whether to include the expansion plans in the core strategy.

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