WHS site put up for sale again

The former WH Smith site in the centre of Clifton Village is back on the market again.

Earlier this winter the For Sale boards were taken down as the property developer THAT Group had discussions with local councillors and various organisations about the possibility of a community buy-out of part of the site.

However, it is understood that agreement could not be reached over the price.

Now ward councillors Paula O’Rourke and Katy Grant say they understand THAT Group are open to offers in the region of £6m for the whole site.

If these are not forthcoming by the end of March the developers will consider alternative uses for the site.

Detailed planning consentwas previously  secured for a 27,000 square foot three-storey development including a restaurant /cafe, offices, and shops. 

The two firms handling the sale, Lambert, Smith, Hampton and Burston Cook say: “We are of the opinion that the site also suits a development of residential flats above ground floor commercial for which consent has previously been granted but has since lapsed.”

THAT Group, which gained permission for a three storey development three years ago and demolished the derelict the WH Smith and six other shops, announced last July that the project it had envisaged was no longer viable because of soaring construction costs. It said it was reconsidering how best to use the site. 

Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society, which objected to THAT Group’s scheme, said: “We shall be carefully watching any new plans that come up for the site”. 

The empty site is covered in weeds and bushes.