LXB Retail gets planning permission for Living Villages concept

LXB Retail Properties has published an update on further pre-lets at a number of the Group’s investment properties and on planning consent for the Group’s first Living Villages project.

Living Villages – Higher Newham, Truro

The Strategic Planning Committee at Cornwall Council recently resolved to grant planning permission for the Group’s Higher Newham Farm proposals which were brought forward by Living Villages in partnership with Cornwall Food Foundation and Duchy College.  As is normal, the planning permission is conditional on entering a Section 106 Agreement and discussions on this are well advanced. The proposal, which includes 155 new homes, a community hub, a restaurant and cookery school to be operated by the Cornwall Food Foundation, and a community farm and educational facility which will be run by Duchy College, was supported 16:3 by the Strategic Planning Committee.

LXB acquired the freehold interest in two farms totalling 100 acres in August 2012 as a medium term strategic land holding. The land lies immediately to the south of Truro City Centre adjacent to Newham Industrial Estate. The property comprises 3 dwellings together with agricultural land.

A unique partnership has been agreed between Duchy College, Cornwall Food Foundation and Living Villages with a proposition to open up Higher Newham for the benefit of the people of Truro, to create an education based working farm and sustainable exemplar village, whilst preserving and enhancing over 80% of the land for posterity. An outline planning application was submitted in August 2015 for 155 homes, a community farm, a restaurant and cook school, community hub and 70 acres of land to be reserved for the farm, allotments, orchards and horticultural uses.

Banbury Gateway

This 285,000 sq ft new retail destination is almost fully pre-let following recent lettings to New Look and Mountain Warehouse covering 19,615 sq ft (14,000 sq ft on ground floor). Only one 1,708 sq ft unit remains and discussions with potential occupiers are ongoing.

M&S, Arcadia, River Island and many other retailers are already open. It is expected that by the end of November all the other stores at Banbury Gateway will have opened, except Next and New Look which are both scheduled to open in February 2016.

The Group expects to sign all leases and to finalise all other matters associated with completion of the investment before the end of 2015, at which time a final balancing payment will be due under the terms of the October 2014 contract with The Crown Estate. The final receipt is expected to be cGBP1.4m more than was anticipated in the March 2015 interim results.


The Group has also enjoyed success on pre-letting the space at Biggleswade. Contracts for a pre-letting to Wilko were exchanged recently taking aggregate lettings to 92% of the available ground floor space.

A number of the retailers which have already opened in the first phase are trading ahead of expectations and there is good interest in the remaining three sq ft units. The Group is confident that current discussions will result in pre-lets being exchanged on the remaining space before Practical Completion in spring 2016.


Following the successful completion of pre-lettings to M&S, House of Fraser, Primark, H&M and Costa, the Group is pleased to announce that further pre-lets have been exchanged with Jigsaw, Phase Eight and L’Occitane.

The Group plans to increase the leisure offer at Rushden Lakes and contracts have recently been exchanged with Cineworld for a pre-let of a 12 screen multiplex which will anchor the leisure proposals. More than 750 people attended a recent 3 day public consultation to present the leisure proposals and the plans were extremely well received. A planning application for the leisure proposals will be submitted shortly. In addition to these recently exchanged pre-lettings, lawyers are instructed in connection with further potential pre-lets of 47,780 sq ft including more retail and nine restaurant units.

The Group remains confident that it will have satisfied all the conditionality to enable the completion of the sale of Rushden Lakes to The Crown Estate in early 2016.


Contracts have been exchanged to let a 5,000 sq ft retail unit at Neatscourt Retail Park to The Original Factory Shop, the discount retailer with over 200 stores nationwide. This leaves two further units totalling 15,000 sq ft to let and discussions are being held with several national retailers in respect of these.


A pre-let of a six screen multiplex cinema to a national operator is in solicitors’ hands. This requires an amendment to the existing planning permission for a cinema and an application for the required layout has been submitted. A decision is anticipated before the end of 2015.
LXB : LXB Retail gets planning permission for Living Villages concept

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