Call for urgent talks to end war between the Potteries and City Sentral shopping centres
A CITY traders group has raised concerns that "backbiting" between two shopping centre firms is harming regeneration.
The City Centre Partnership is calling for Realis Estates, Capital Shopping Centres (CSC) and Stoke-on-Trent City Council to hold urgent reconciliatory talks.
It comes after CSC, which owns the Potteries shopping centre, released a report by planning consultants which claims the proposed City Sentral shopping complex is "unsustainable."
The firm's £14 million plan to add a cinema and restaurants to the centre was scuppered by the city council's refusal to sell the required land – even though it gave planning permission.
Realis Estates, which intends to build City Sentral on the site of the East West precinct by 2015, claims CSC is 'muddying the waters' and 'confusing the market'.
Doug Wardle, City Centre Partnership spokesman, said: "There is so much backbiting and so many rumours that it is creating uncertainty about something which affects the entire city.
"They need to sit down together and discuss what is actually going to happen."
The Sentinel reported this month how CSC chief executive Mike Butterworth is adamant the rival development is unlikely to happen.
The report commissioned by CSC states that Hanley cannot support another shopping complex and that City Sentral will be too big and too similar to the existing centre.
The report also notes that internet competition is hitting the high street.
It also emerged earlier this month that Realis is £24 million in debt, but bosses insist their plans are on track.