New lease of life for ‘tired’ area of town
- Credit: Archant
AN EXCITING redevelopment plan for a tired industrial area in Portishead could see major new investment in the town.
Proposals for the regeneration of Old Mill Road have been unveiled, revealing that a railway station piazza, cinema, other leisure facilities and top retailers could help form a link from Harbour Road to Wyndham Way and the town’s High Street.
Land owner, Ignis Real Estate, has appointed a team including retail agents and planning and transport consultants to help move the regeneration forward and liaise with the community. A public exhibition and consultation is expected to be held in late spring or early summer.
A spokesman for Signet Planning, which forms part of the team, said: “The existing site is tired and has experienced recent pressures for change of use.
“The proposed development represents a significant enhancement to Portishead town centre which will create jobs, services and major new investment into the town.”
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The comprehensive plans are expected to take shape in 2017 when the current leases on properties in Old Mill Road expire and some businesses could be forced to move elsewhere.
T & G Woodware, which leases five units in the road, has operated from the site for 36 years and has a workforce of about 45.
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Managing director Patrick Gardner said: “The lease we have means that we will get compensation if we have to move.
“That would help us to develop a new site and we would hope to keep that close to our current location. However, I would rather not move in the first place.”
Only last year a Portishead couple invested more than £100,000 to get the indoor play centre, The Playport, up and running in Old Mill Road and the area has recently received a great deal of interest from leisure businesses, with a wave of change-of-use applications submitted for a gym, indoor skate park, a swimming pool for babies and a dog training centre.
Andy Cleeves who will open the Fitness Hub Gym in Old Mill Road in the near future said: “I would have liked a longer lease and I am still hopeful that if we make a success of our facility that the landlords will allow us to continue to serve the community here.”
Jason Harvey, one of the businessmen behind the indoor skate park project, said: “The short lease is a bit of a shame but we are still prepared to get this project up and running to benefit the community for at least the next four or five years.”