Retail LPA perspective

Manual for streets 'Whitefriars Canterbury is a large scale mixed use scheme adjacent to the historic core of Canterbury. It includes a number of retail units - including 3 main stores, residential units,a multi storey car park, a new public transport interchange, a cycling centre, two new streets and a public square.

A project complicated by such factors as the need for an archaeological dig across most of the site and the importance of providing continuity of trading to key occupiers, which took some 6 years to complete. Its success was undoubtedly down to the public and private sector working closely together in a project team style. In particular it needed each partner to appreciate such factors as key planning land use objectives, commercial viability, design issues and construction programming requirements. Inevitably, for a development in such a sensitive location, there were times when conflicts arose between these factors.

The delivery of the project depended upon both partners appreciating the 'bigger picture', and on occasions, compromises had to be made provided they did not impact upon key objectives. The result is a fully let scheme which has helped to maintain Canterbury's position in the regional shopping hierarchy and one which has already won several awards.

Kim Bennett
Head of Development Services
Canterbury City Council