PATHS around Stafford's £70 million Riverside development – which is set to include a Primark – will close as building work begins.
Construction is now starting on creating the shopping site, which will also include a flagship Marks & Spencer, H&M, River Island, Arcadia, Costa and Phones 4U, so footpaths and pavements around it in South Walls will shut for the duration.
The new site will no longer include a Debenhams after the retailer opted to pull out of the deal because of timings, although it is still interested in coming to the town.
But developer LXB Retail Properties announced in its end-of-year accounts that Primark would take over the Debenhams unit. It will be a welcome addition to the town, following calls from residents for a Primark in Stafford.
Footpath closures will include the one along Queensway, the path along the river and the pavement at South Walls.
The Morrison’s development at Kingsmead will start later this month with the demolition of empty houses in North Walls. It will involve a pavement closure before the main works begin in October.
The old Tesco multi-storey car park has now been flattened to make way for a cinema and restaurants. It is hoped planning permission will be granted in August.
Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader Mark Winnington said: “In order to carry out the work safely and efficiently, paths around the site will need to be closed off for the duration of the development. There will be alternative routes so we would ask people to bear with us.”
The Riverside scheme will also include a multi-storey car park providing more than 1,000 spaces with ground floor retail and leisure units facing the river, as well as 180 spaces in a sub-basement car park under Marks and Spencer.