Bristol Cribbs Causeway mall expansion approved

image copyrightGeograph/Brian Robert Marshall
image captionThe Mall at Cribbs Causeway is just north of Bristol and opened in 1998

A shopping mall near Bristol is set to expand to include an indoor ski centre, flats and shops.

Developers say expanding Cribbs Causeway by 50% will create thousands of new jobs and boost the local economy.

South Gloucestershire Council's Trevor Jones said it will see "significant new provision" for shopping at the Mall.

Critics of the plan fear traffic chaos and taking trade away from shops in the city centre and nearby towns.

'Job losses'

Although the council has approved the plans, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government may intervene and make a final decision.

David Redgewell from Bus Users UK said: "We are very fearful of the gridlock and congestion in South Gloucestershire.

"It's one of the most gridlocked parts of the Greater Bristol area and obviously it needs to improve its transport congestion and pollution."

image copyrightRedwood Consulting
image captionThe expansion will see new shops, an indoor ski centre and housing at Cribbs Causeway

Peter Cooper, director for the Bristol Alliance which owns and manages Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, said: "The applicant's own retail assessment shows that over £123m of trade would be deflected from the City Centre by 2021.

"This would result in the loss of around 1,500 jobs."

But supporters believe it will attract more people into the region.

'Good news'

Chief executive of the Bath Business Improvement District Louise Prynne said: "It's very good news for the west of England.

"We've been working with all the people representing retailers in South Gloucestershire, Bristol and Bath just to make sure we know what's happening and also to ensure that we collaborate to get our share of the international market."

She added that transport issues could be solved with the introduction of a metro mayor as part of the government's devolution offer.

Those against the plans include the Federation of Small Businesses in Bristol, Forward Swindon Ltd, North Somerset Council, Bristol, Bath and Newport councils.

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