Some of the UK’s biggest shopping centres could be converted into homes.
Intu Properties is one of the biggest owners of retail parks and shopping centres across the country and has announced it intends to build more than 1,000 homes next to Lakeside, the shopping centre it owns in Essex.
With retail valuations falling across the UK and empty units failing to find new tenants, Intu and other centre owners are looking to find alternative uses for their property.
Demand for housing
The lack of housing supply and always-increasing demand for homes to buy makes the Intu plan to build homes on its retail land an obvious route.
Its plan for Lakeside will mean the demolition of two car parks and a House of Fraser store for apartment blocks as well as leisure facilities.
A public consultation on its plan for an initial 1,000 rental homes has been launched. Intu says there is room for up to 5,000 homes at Lakeside.
Link to City of London
The development’s early plans include public and private open spaces, dedicated lifestyle facilities and landscaping that integrates with the existing centre.
According to The Times, Intu owns 17 shopping centres in the UK and three in Spain.
Lakeside is close to Chafford Hundred railway station, which links to Fenchurch Street in the City of London in 30 minutes.
Martin Breeden, development director at Intu, said: “Our long-term vision is to create a vibrant new community right on the doorstep of one of the UK’s best retail and leisure destinations.”