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Edge-of-centre retail development has been blocked by Worcester

by Paul Addison on July 8, 2016 No comments

A Worcester Woods 21-hectare development has been refused due to it having a…

“significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of retailers in Worcester City Centre”.

Major players including:

  • John Lewis,
  • Sainsbury’s,
  • M&S,
  • Next,
  • PC World

were some of the anchors for a scheme that has been refused by Worcester City Council for a major out-of-centre retail scheme that was proposed by developer Land Securities for a greenfield site. However, it was agreed by members that the scheme would be damaging to the city centre and was refused.

Worcester Woods (the retail park) was allocated for a 21-hectare site roughly:

  • 1 miles from the city centre
  • 5 miles from the existing St John’s district centre
  • 5 miles from the Sainsbury centre

The floor space involved was almost 37,000 square meters, as well as the facility for more than 1,100 parking spaces. The scheme, which is a potential £150m development, would be more than a third of the floor space of the already existing city centre.

It was suggested by officers that the scheme is refused due to it having a major adverse impact of comparison goods retailing;

“to the detriment of the vitality and viability of existing centres, and in particular Worcester City centre”.

It was also said by the officers that the scheme didn’t include “a thorough, flexible sequential assessment” which is a requirement from the national planning policy and key measures in the adopted South Worcestershire Development Plan.

The scheme was a concert to town centres and owners of retail parks around Worcester. It was decided that:

“the sequential test has not been met and the application proposal would have a significant adverse impact on the city centre and therefore recommend planning permission is refused”.

The area that surrounds the scheme is made up of:

  • residential,
  • care home,
  • commercial and open space
  • community uses, (including Worcester Royal hospital).

The site is recognized as appropriate for:

  • B1 and B2 employment
  • Care home use
  • Possible hospital expansion.

For more information, call us on 01342 890010 or email


Paul AddisonEdge-of-centre retail development has been blocked by Worcester

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