Bristol

Cribbs Causeway expansion plan called in by government

Inside the Mall at Cribbs Image copyright Geograph/Brian Robert Marshall
Image caption The Mall at Cribbs Causeway is just north of Bristol and opened in 1998

Plans for an expansion of a shopping centre near Bristol have been called in by the government.

Proposals to increase the size of The Mall at Cribbs Causeway by 50% were approved last year.

The decision on whether to continue with the expansion will be made by the Secretary of State after an inquiry.

Philip Vaughan, from M&G Real Estate, speaking on behalf of The Mall, said the plan would represent "significant investment" for the region.

South Gloucestershire Council said they were "extremely disappointed" but "remain optimistic the £300m investment ... could still go ahead."

Critics of the plan fear traffic chaos and that it might take trade away from shops in the city centre and nearby towns.

Weston-super-Mare MP John Penrose, whose constituency is south of the shopping centre, raised concerns that it could "damage Weston's regeneration by taking away around 8.3% of trade (£39m) by 2021".

Transport groups said they were "very fearful of the gridlock and congestion in South Gloucestershire".

Image copyright Redwood Consulting
Image caption The expansion will see new shops, an indoor ski centre and housing at Cribbs Causeway

And the owners of Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol have claimed the "trade deflected from the city centre by 2021" would "result in the loss of around 1,500 jobs."

But supporters believe it will attract more people into the region.

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