REVEALED: Artist’s impressions show plans to redevelop Old Mill Road
PUBLISHED: 06:20 26 October 2017
Standard Life Investments.
The first design images showing what a redeveloped Portishead industrial site could look like have been revealed.
Standard Life Investments’ artist impressions of its proposed Old Mill Road scheme have been released ahead of two consultation events next week.
The proposals include a cinema, gym, restaurants, bars, cafés and 350 flats – but only if the industrial firms currently based there are moved on.
Those companies say they face potential ruin once their leases expire in March 2019 as there is nowhere to relocate to.
Standard Life says it ‘recognises the importance of existing businesses’ and is discussing options with them and North Somerset Council.
MORE: Demolishing Old Mill Road would be an ‘act of vandalism’, Standard Life told.
Patrick Gardner, owner of T&G Woodware in Old Mill Road, said Standard Life’s claim it can attract ‘brand names’ to Portishead is unrealistic.
He said: “There’s definitely a possibility, depending on retailers it gets, that it would kill the High Street.
“However, retail is pretty dire at the moment – we know that as we supply them. Independent firms in particular are struggling, partly due to Brexit, but particularly due to the internet.
“Retailers such as John Lewis do 40 per cent of its business on its website – it’s a sad fact of life that the bricks and mortar aren’t necessarily needed.”
He also questioned whether a cinema chain would be keen to open in Portishead with rivals in Bristol, Cribbs Causeway, Weston and Clevedon close by.
Mr Gardner believes Portishead could be left with 350 new flats and no leisure facilities – and then Standard Life would seek even more apartments.
He added: “If they get rid of us, it (Portishead) will be a dormitory town.
“The last time Standard Life came down (to speak to us) I said we’d fight it tooth and nail.”
Standard Life will hold consultation events on November 2 and 4 at Somerset Hall from noon to 5pm and the library from 11am-4pm respectively.
Comment cards have been produced asking people if they would like a cinema, new eateries, big name brands, a new gym – despite Old Mill Road already having a gym – and better connections between the town centre and marina.
No option to suggest Old Mill Road remains with its current setup is available on the cards.
* Anyone unable to attend is told they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03442 250003.