Main image Redcatch Development Partnership
Plans for a £150 million redevelopment of Broadwalk Shopping Centre revealed this week could see the existing centre and carpark demolished and transformed into a ‘community hub’.
Under the mixed-use scheme unveiled on Thursday (27 January) during an online consultation – up to 800 new homes would be built on the site and the new development would be re-named Redcatch Quarter.
As well as multi-storey apartment blocks – proposals include a small supermarket, shops and a pedestrianised street through the site, connecting Wells Road to a new entrance into Redcatch Park.
The Redcatch Development Partnership says the new plans for the ‘tired’ Broadwalk Shopping Centre would be the ‘biggest investment in Knowle in a generation’.
Project Manager Francis Hilton said: “We are determined to bring forward this scheme that contributes to the local community and ensures that the next 50 years sees a fantastic heart to Knowle.”
The centre, built in the 1970s, currently houses stores such as B & M Bargains, Iceland and Poundland. It is not yet known which shops will remain – but developers say the library and the dentist will have new homes in the scheme.
The original £100 million plans for the centre were given outline planning permission by Bristol City Council in March 2019. They included pulling down the multi-storey car park – which has structural issues – and part of the centre and providing a mixed-use scheme with 420 flats, shops, bars and cafes in a piazza opening into Redcatch Park.
This led to a petition about the height of the proposed 12 storey apartments and other objections included the fear of increased parking around nearby roads.
Developers say the new plans will work to ‘key parameters set from the previous consent’ that includes the access and the height of the apartment blocks as well as the amount of affordable housing.
But they also reflect how COVID-19 has changed people’s shopping habits which has led to a decrease in customers visiting the centre.
In a statement Redcatch Development Partnership said: “The global pandemic has fundamentally changed the way that people live, work, shop and socialise. This coupled with the physical frailties of the existing buildings is leading to a centre which is no longer viable nor vibrant. Footfall and spending at the centre have declined significantly and several retailers have already left or are seeking to leave.
“The emerging proposals focus on a reimagining of the existing centre, whilst maintaining its role as the heart of the local community…”
A key part of the development is also encouraging people out of their cars – which could include an electric charging hub for both residents and the community as well as a car club scheme and 1,600 cycle spaces.
A planning application is due to be submitted in the spring, which if accepted could see work starting next year.
Exhibition banners providing information about the plans will be displayed in Broadwalk Shopping Centre from the middle of next week.
A virtual exhibition will also be available to view on the Redcatch Development Partnership website: www.redcatchquarter.com – with the chance for the public to give feedback. People can also email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 441 4004.