A major redevelopment of a shopping park on the edge of Preston has been tabled.Advertisement
Owners of the Capitol Centre have applied for permission to demolish the Vue Cinema and Frankie and Benny’s restaurant at the retail park.
In its place they propose to create a new non-food retail store and bring two new restaurants to the Capitol Centre at Walton-le-Dale.
It heightens speculations that Vue Cinemas will be taking a central position in the Preston Markets plan, which would see a cinema created where the Indoor Market currently stands.
Vue Cinemas refused to confirm or deny it was relocating to the city centre when asked by Blog Preston earlier in December. It would only confirm the Capitol Centre cinema would not close in 2015 but they haven’t decided whether to renew their lease which ends in 2016.
The plans for the Capitol Centre see the Prezzo restaurant staying put and the car parking in that area reduced.
A statement by Royal London, the owners of the site, said: “The non-food retail proposal is speculative, although Royal London are aware that there is retailer demand to occupy the unit. For the avoidance of doubt, the proposed unit will not be used for the sale of food.
“The proposed retail store has been designed to provide a high quality, modern shopping environment for the community. The store will be contemporary, featuring high quality glazing and cladding to give a clean, crisp look to the building.”
They state the plans would increase the total number of jobs at the retail park.
Royal London go on to say: “The proposals will be able to satisfy relevant retail tests. In particular, the proposals will not harm the vitality and viability of existing centres. Whilst it is not necessary to undertake a sequential test assessment in this case, it has been demonstrated that there does not exist sequentially preferable sites that are suitable, available and viable.
“Importantly, the recent Preston City Centre Retail and Leisure Study confirms that there is capacity for a substantial amount of new non-food retail floorspace in the Preston area. The redevelopment proposals can assist in
meeting this requirement, with the consequential effect of clawing back leakage of expenditure.”
The full plans are available to view on the South Ribble Borough Council website. Anyone wishing to comment can do so via the borough council website and must do so by Friday 26 December.
What do you think of the proposed changes? Do you use the Vue cinema? Do you visit Frankie and Benny’s? Let us know in the comments below