Plans for a vibrant extension to The Lexicon at Bracknell have been scrapped due to costs, Covid and market conditions.

The Deck, a covered 14-unit extension to the shopping and leisure centre, planned for the site of the former Bentalls store, would have linked the existing phase of The Lexicon to Princess Square.

But now Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP) has issued a statement which, after acknowledging The Lexicon’s many successes, states: “The next stage of the revitalisation of Bracknell town centre, The Deck, received planning permission in 2019 but plans were subsequently disrupted by the significant worldwide effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This delayed the demolition of the former department store, Bentalls, to start getting the site ready for construction, until the second half of 2021.

“A construction tender process was subsequently undertaken but, despite significant efforts by all involved, the substantial rises in construction costs and the wider effects of inflation that have affected every household and business in the country, combined with the change in market conditions post pandemic, have unfortunately made the original plans commercially unviable.

“This is not the end of the road for the area that The Deck was due to occupy, and we now have an opportunity to look at alternative proposals for the site that respond to the changing needs of the local community and help contribute to an already thriving town centre.

“We are already researching and developing new plans. It is early days for this major rethink, but we will be able to share clearer ideas in due course, with the ambition to prepare a fresh planning application.

“We will also be working with our partners at Bracknell Forest Council to consider a range of temporary uses that will allow us to utilise the space whilst longer term plans are developed.

“Both Bracknell Regeneration Partnership and Bracknell Forest Council remain committed to unlocking this exciting next stage of the town centre’s regeneration and ensuring Bracknell town centre continues to serve the needs of the local community.”

The Deck was first proposed long before lockdown and, as late as March 2020, Bracknell Regeneration Partnership (BRP) announced The Botanist restaurant and bowling operator Hollywood Bowl had signed up as the scheme’s first occupiers.

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