Property giant The Crown Estate has unveiled £29m expansion plans for North Tyneside’s prime shopping park, which will create around 50 new construction jobs.
The firm, which manages the sovereign’s properties and land, took back the site leased to Silverlink Travelodge back in July, saying it was “considering options for the future of the site”.
Now those options have been finalised and a planning application has been submitted to North Tyneside Council, revealing major expansion plans at its Silverlink Shopping Park – one of 16 it owns across the UK.
The application details how the former Travelodge site opposite the park will be converted into a new retail scheme, adding to the long list of tenants already on site.
The proposal would see the old hotel replaced with 102,000sqft of new retail accommodation split into four units, the largest of which would be earmarked for a flagship Next Home and Garden store.
A specific proposal forms part of the planning application which would see The Crown Estate work in partnership with the council to deliver two training packages, creating almost 50 new construction jobs for local young people.
The application would also see The Crown Estate provide funding for improvements to roads and footpaths around the site.
Improved footpaths linking the site to Coast Road bus stops and the creation of a new lane for the A19 to improve access for motorists have also been put forward.
Potential roadworks would coincide with the Highways Agency’s proposal to sink the A19 under the Coast Road, which is due to begin in 2016.
Redevelopment of the Travelodge site would also see extra car parking spaces provided adjacent to Mallard Way.
The shopping park currently comprises more than 200,000sqft of retail accommodation housing popular brands like M&S, H&M, Next, New Look, River Island, JD Sports, Boots, Outfit, Argos and Currys/PC World.
Subject to planning, work will start on the site extension in spring 2015 and it is estimated works will be finished by autumn 2016.
Hannah Milne, regional portfolio manager at The Crown Estate said: “Redeveloping the former hotel will allow us to bring new retailers to the park, further enhancing the shopping experience for all. At the same time, we will be creating a number of jobs locally as well as improving highways infrastructure.”
North Tyneside mayor Norma Redfearn welcomed the plans.
She said: “This exciting new development is great news for North Tyneside as it will bring further investment and jobs to the borough as well as attracting many more visitors to the very popular Silverlink complex with its quality shops, restaurants and cinema.”
The Newcastle Silverlink Travelodge ceased operating in July after the landlords took back the site, but 21 of the 27-strong hotel team were transferred to other hotels in the Newcastle area. The remaining six staff members chose to take voluntary redundancy.
Meanwhile, Lingfield Point, one of the North East’s award-winning property developments, has been sold in a £23.45m deal in Darlington, County Durham.
The new owner is a fund managed by Clearbell, an independently-owned private equity real estate fund management and advisory business which specialises in UK property investment, development and asset management.
Clearbell’s investment in Lingfield Point will build on the success of the site as a regional mixed use hub.