THE opening of a new shopping centre in Basingstoke has resulted in the demise of the Brighton Hill Retail Park, according to its owners.

Last week the Gazette exclusively revealed that LaSalle, owners of the Brighton Hill Retail Park, were considering knocking it down to build an industrial site following the departure of various businesses.

Now, a report published by the borough council shows it has been in talks with the owners since December last year regarding its future, after being impacted by the opening of St Michael’s Retail Park in 2018.

The council previously told the Gazette that it was not aware of any plans for the site.

However, the report, which identifies and assesses available land for housing or economic development potential, lists Brighton Hill Retail Park as one of the options in the borough.

Referring to the 100,000 square foot site, borough council officers stated: “The landowner of the site relies on high occupancy rates to ensure the continued vitality and viability of the current retail park.

“The site promoter has noted that the existing vacancies are blighting the site and the lack of retail demand has been exacerbated by the recent opening of the new St Michael’s Retail Park development adjacent to the site.”

The report added: “The site promoter has suggested that the site would present an opportunity for development for industrial / distribution.”

Referring to potential impacts, it said: “There are residential properties close to the site which may be affected by the redevelopment of the site for employment uses.”

Brighton Hill Retail Park was built in 1970 as part of the Town Centre Development Plan.

However, it has seen various businesses move out in recent years, including Toys R Us which closed in March 2018; Pizza Hut which shut in September last year; and Office Outlet.

Currys/PC World is relocating to the next-door St Michael’s Retail Park which opened in 2018.

A source has told the Gazette that the owners of Brighton Hill Retail Park, in Winchester Road, want to knock it down and replace it with industrial units, keeping only the McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru.

Andrew Bolitho, head of out-of-town retail for LaSalle, did not rule out of the possibility of knocking down the site and replacing it with industrial units.

He told the Gazette: “The vacant units are of course a cause for concern and as is the case for many retail properties at this time, several options are being considered for its long-term future.”

He added that this included maintaining its current use as a retail park.