Hanley City Sentral firm objects to Tunstall Morrisons shops plan
DEVELOPERS behind a planned £350 million city centre shopping complex are urging councillors to refuse plans for a supermarket and retail park - in Tunstall.
Realis claims the Morrisons supermarket plaza in Tunstall could poach businesses it wants at City Sentral.
Norcros Estates plans to build a 71,000 sq ft superstore at the former Highgate Works, alongside a petrol station, four retail outlets, five restaurants and a free car park.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council will consider the application, which could create 600 jobs, at a meeting on Tuesday.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Businesses have already raised concerns that the development could harm town centre trade.
The Potteries Shopping Centre is also strongly opposing the development.
Critics say the Realis objection shows a lack of confidence in the new shopping centre, due to open in early 2016.
Non-aligned councillor Paul Breeze, who represents Birches Head and Central Forest Park, has criticised the council for failing to support the Potteries Shopping Centre in order to protect City Sentral.
The Hanley One residents' association chairman said: "It's outrageous for them to interfere, especially when it's a development that is creating jobs. It flies in the face of everything we're hearing in these economic times.
"It does not show much confidence in their own prospects."
The Birmingham-based developer has already raised concerns that plans to attract Vue Cinemas and several restaurants to the Potteries Shopping Centre extension could threaten City Sentral. The development is considered pivotal to the council's plans to regenerate Hanley, alongside the new civic centre and Central Business District.
Duncan Mathieson, managing director of Realis Estates, said: "The council has a clear strategy for the regeneration of the city centre based around major projects including City Sentral, the CBD, Uni Q and City Waterside which will act as a catalyst for wider regeneration.
"While we welcome new investment in the city, it is essential that any additional development is undertaken in the context of this strategy. There is a fantastic opportunity to make a real and lasting change to the city's fortunes. City Sentral is the flagship for the regeneration of the city centre.
"Our objection is simply articulating our support for the council's strategy. We are sure the council will continue to resist piecemeal developments whether in the city centre or in out-of-centre locations. We are far from the only objectors to the proposed scheme. A large number of local residents and others have major concerns."