Landlords have experienced the demise of many retailers and have had to respond. Coplan Estates, in partnership with Welbeck CP, is developing proposals to address the changing landscape of retail, beginning with a mixed-use scheme in Exeter. The Haven Bank site was acquired in June 2020. Many retail units are not occupied due to the lack of demand in the market with uncertainty about the future of this type of retail park. It can be found to the south of Exeter city centre and also near the River Exe and because of this central, waterside location, the site lends itself to a mixed use, residential-led development.
This is the first of a series of development opportunities throughout the UK that Coplan Estates intends to source and acquire together with Welbeck CP. The focus of the partnership is to acquire first generation retail parks, addressing the ever-changing retail landscape by creating high-quality mixed use schemes. A second site at Station Road in Portsmouth has also been acquired.
A formal planning application has now been submitted for approximately 440 new homes split between Build to Rent (BtR) and Co-Living units, with a vision to create a new attractive, walkable neighbourhood. Proposals will also provide associated amenity and commercial space such as active ground floor retail space, as well as cafes and restaurants and flexible workspace. There is also a strong focus on sustainable design, low carbon living and providing a pedestrian and cycle focussed community.
This was a Retail Warehouse income producing site that was in urgent need of a solution when it the vacancy level increased. Coplan managed the whole process.