08:00 Friday 06 December 2013

New restaurant idea after extension is shelved

Written byHELEN KREFT

A BURTON shopping centre could yet get an extension as new plans for two restaurant units were revealed.

Dave Chadfield, manager of Coopers Square, said although the site’s owner F&C Reit had shelved a previously agreed £25 million project, the new proposals proved it was still looking at how best to improve the town centre.

The Mail revealed earlier this week how an original Coopers Square extension scheme had been abandoned – news which came to light after Debenhams confirmed it no longer held an interest in opening a department store in Burton.

Now, chartered surveyors Douglass Stevens is touting the potential for two restaurant units, which would involve a small extension along the side of the shopping centre’s car park.

Mr Chadfield said: “(The chartered surveyors)go to all the contacts and get feedback and look at the plans.

“It is the new aspirations they have for the centre.

“We have been talking about these plans and sketching them out.

“There could be more units to add because it is a different market than what it was five years ago, and different tenants are looking to come to Burton that wouldn’t have thought about it five years ago.

“The restaurants will be right for the current retail climate. The new owners are coming in and taking a fresh look at Burton and the shopping centre as their entity.”

It was announced in June 2011 that Coopers Square would undergo a £25 million facelift, creating up to 200 jobs, 11 two-storey shops, a major department store and new rooftop car park.

The plans would also have involved five businesses in Station Street — two estate agents, Retro nightclub, a dry cleaners and the Royal Bank of Scotland — being demolished and relocated to make way for the extension.

However, seven months later, Grosvenor Fund Management, then owner of Coopers Square, put the shopping centre on the market and cast extension into doubt.

In March 2012, asset management firm F&C Reit bought it for £250 million.

No work on the extension ever materialised and, this week, Debenhams revealed it would no longer be coming to Burton in light of F&C Reit’s vision for Coopers Square, leading to mixed opinions from shoppers.

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