Original article written by Josh Morris for Insider Media as featured on their website on 2nd March 2018. To view the original article please click here.


The developer behind a £75m project for a former Sainsbury’s supermarket site in Newport is considering submitting altered plans for the site as demolition gets underway.

Leon Fear of Fear Group told Insider that improvements to the city’s transport links, including the abolishment of tolls on the Severn Bridge, means the company is considering increasing the amount of residential space on the site.

Contractors are currently moving machinery onto the site, which Fear bought in 2010, ahead of the construction of flood defence works as required by Natural Resources Wales.

Fear told Insider: “We’ve made a start, the contractors have been slowed up by the snow but we’re making a start.

“It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been eager to get going, we’ve been working and working on it and it’s only now we’ve been able to get going.

“For Newport, it’s an important project. It’s one of the last remaining major sites in the city for redevelopment, and it’s a prominent site in the city itself.

“We’ve got a 12 week programme for demolition and then preparing the ground and then flood defences, and we’re currently reviewing what we have planning permission for, we may make adjustments.

“If we do, there’ll be a six month period for the new planning process before we make a start on construction, so there won’t be a meaningful start until later this year.

“In light of the changes with Brexit and student numbers at the university, if we do make changes an increase in the residential component is likely.

“Core to our business is our research department which identifies demographic changes and hotspots in the UK where we see growth potential and that’s why we identified Newport.

“Since we bought the site, a lot has happened; the shopping centre has been open for two years adjacent to the site, the railway electrification which completes this year and the bridge tolls, so there’s a lot of positive news for Newport and puts us in a good place.”

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