BCSC 08: Stockport aims for £100m savings at Bridgefield

Stockport council is finalising revised plans for the Bridgefield retail-led scheme abandoned by Lend Lease earlier this year.

Consultant Alistair Parker, partner and head of development at Cushman & Wakefield, is advising the council and said £100m could be trimmed off the £500m cost of the original scheme.

Parker said: "We are working with Stockport council to find ways to cut the cost of the scheme. Options include keeping existing street patterns and not building new streets as first planned. This saves on the cost of moving sewers and utilities and trims millions off the cost in one decision.

"We will also consider not asking the developer to pay for the new Metrolink tram station that will one day sit in the site; that could come later from other sources. The planned bridge over the River Mersey and re-doing the bus system are all contributions that we needn't require from developers now."

Bosses at the Sydney head office of Lend Lease pulled the plug on the Stockport plans in August citing the difficult economic climate. The original scheme proposed 650,000 sq ft of shops, a cinema, 250 residential units and 80,000 sq ft of leisure.

Parker added: "The council wants to get on with this and will not be asking developers to go through lengthy procurement contests at great expense which will not go down well in today's market."

The overall trading space of the Bridgefield scheme should not be affected, Parker said, as the scale needed to reflect the town's importance in the region.

No timetable has been given for the revised plans to be published.

Parker was speaking to Place at the British Council of Shopping Centres annual conference in Liverpool.

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