Potential for another 200,000 sq ft at retail park
Bournemouth's 645,000 sq ft (59,920 sq m) Castlepoint shopping park development is to gain an 80,000 sq ft (7,430 sq m) extension, following a successful planning appeal.

Standard Life Investments, Castlemore and Threadneedle Property Investments successfully argued that ground-floor space created beneath the existing units could be converted to retail use. The new space will have unrestricted open A1 use, and the inspector's decision leaves the option open for the development of a further 120,000 sq ft (11,150 sq m) of A1 space on the site.

The area is between the structural columns on the ground floor, and Bournemouth Council had argued that a new planning application was required because it was not specifically designated for retail use within the original permission, and because further work would be needed to bring the space into use.

However, the inspector found the centre had been designed for retail across the site, on both the ground and the upper-ground levels, and that no further application is required.

Castlemore planning director Eric Hall said: 'Since Castlepoint opened a little over a year ago, demand for additional space from the existing retailers, as well as retailers wanting to come into the scheme, has been exceptional. We expect to get on site to start converting the space in Easter next year, with the aim of completing in summer 2005.'

Donaldsons advised Castlemore on the planning appeal.