Mall proposed by councillor to save 'struggling' businesses

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 April 2018

The Triangle

The Triangle

Archant

A shopping mall should be built to save Clevedon's ailing shops, according to a town councillor.

Councillor David Shopland believes a new shopping centre should be created to bring together national and local traders under one roof.

He has suggested The Triangle as a possible location for the scheme, but admits it would require significant demolition and rebuild work, or instead the Coleridge Vale playing fields or the outskirts of town.

Cllr Shopland added: “Modern shoppers want to park their car near to the shops, not have to walk too far and those with children require them to be in a safe and controlled environment.

“So maybe the answer is to create a new town shopping centre complete with a supermarket, Marks & Spencer, Next, WHSmith, together with traditional local shops such as there are now.

“The new shops could be housed in mall-like premises with under-cover walkways, restaurants, unlimited parking and adequate service areas for delivery vehicles.”

Cllr Shopland believes his proposal should be explored instead of the planned Business Improvement District (BID).

The BID is aiming to raise £500,000 for Clevedon over the next five years by placing a two per cent levy on each business with a rateable value of at least £5,000 in the seafront and town centre areas.

MORE: BID business plan launched.

But Cllr Shopland says the extra cost could drive ‘struggling’ traders out of business.

He added: “Times are hard, money scarce and many small businesses are struggling to survive in these competitive times, and are already faced with paying an increased minimum wage and a hefty pension subsidy and cannot afford to pay an extra annual rates levy for many years.

“Such a levy will probably be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and drives them out of business, something which will be to Clevedon’s detriment as everyone in the town wants a varied choice of affordable shops and retail outlets catering for their needs.

“What is needed is a voluntary group, truly representative of all the needs of the town to advise and help the town council in this matter as the latter has the access means to really achieve something for Clevedon.”

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