The BCSC has expressed concerns that an unfair financial burden imposed on developers by anti-terrorist security legislation could cause delays to key retail schemes.
Responding to the Working Together to Protect Crowded Places report published jointly by the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government, the BCSC has said that while it welcomes the introduction of increased anti-terrorist measures in shopping centre planning, it is wary that developers could be forced to provide a disproportionate amount of the funding needed.
BCSC executive director Ed Cooke said: “We’re concerned that the requirements on developers could be so restrictive that they add additional barriers in the process. The costs to developers in the current climate are already considerable and many schemes have become unviable. Some of these measures could add additional cost and delay development.”
The BCSC’s concerns have also been echoed by property industry body the British Property Federation (BPF).
Over the past five months the Government has conducted a consultation process with key parties involved with shopping centre security including developers, police, local authorities and industry bodies.
Among the findings of the report are guidelines to developers and local authorities as to how to improve physical security.
Cooke said that a “heavy-handed” approach by the Government to security would over-emphasise the importance of physical measures and overlook other initiatives that could be just as effective, such as investing in effective communication between shopping centres and emergency services, staff training and proper crisis-management policies.
He added: “There needs to be a series of options not focused solely on capital investment. It’s not just design initiatives that are going to prevent terrorist attacks.”