Shopping row continues as Clock Towers threaten to pull out of expansion

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If plans to redevelop Elliott’s Field Retail Park go ahead, Clock Towers will drop its proposed expansion.

Hundreds of people attended a public exhibition on Friday and Saturday showcasing £25 million plans to redevelop the Clock Towers Shopping Centre.

A telephone survey was also carried out with 1,000 people in CV21 and CV22 postcodes with 85 per cent saying they would support the plans.

However Clock Towers bosses have said this week that the plans will be dropped if Elliott’s Field is given the go ahead.

Centre manager Tony Spencer said: “If the Elliott’s Field extension goes ahead, it wouldn’t be commercially viable to continue with our extension plans in the town centre. Unfortunately there just isn’t enough retail demand or a larger enough catchment for both our schemes to co-exist in their extended formats.”

Clock Towers recently launched a judicial review against the council’s decision to grant planning approval to Elliott’s Field amid fears it will kill off the town centre.

Hammerson - which owns Elliott’s Field - has since submitted a revised planning application with alterations to the design and layout of some of the units.

Mr Spencer said: “It threatens the future viability and vitality of our famous town. We just want to invest in Rugby town centre and develop a scheme that is right for Rugby and supports the local economy.”

This week Rugby First waded into the row by sending out letters to town centre businesses urging them to object to the Elliott’s Field plans.

Managing director Aftab Gaffar said: “I’m sure I don’t need to paint a picture of the future of our town centre if we continue to lose major retailers to an out of town site.”

In Leeds a similar row is also taking place - this time with Hammerson fighting an out-of-town development.