Westfield Stratford acounts for more than half of construction as activity slows

The rate of shopping centre construction activity has fallen to levels last seen during the early 1990s recession, according to research by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

Shopping centre construction is continuing to contract in the UK, with new completions set to provide less than 3m ft2 of space in 2011.

More than half the total of new shopping centre space completed this year is accounted for by a single scheme – the 1.9m m ft2 Westfield Stratford in east London, due to open in September 2011.

The CBRE said that while the overall development pipeline remained stable, planning delays and the high cost of holding land for development would “inevitably” lead to more shopping centre schemes being cancelled.

Mark Disney, CBRE’s shopping centre development and leasing director, said: “Retailer demand is increasingly focused on larger shopping centres, but the lack of new development is limiting opportunities.

“We are seeing strong demand for new space in schemes such as Westfield Stratford, but demand is also strong for space in established major shopping centres like Bluewater, Meadowhall, and the Trafford Centre.”