Energy and the environment play an increasingly important role in the financial success of commercial assets due to an increased focus by investors, shareholders, landlords and tenants on sustainability. It has become essential for organisations to have a deep and broad understanding of their business's environmental, social and economic impacts, as well as the associated risks and opportunities that exist within their activities.
As appointed property manager, Savills has been working with The Crown Estate (TCE) to achieve key sustainability objectives across its regional portfolio comprising 28 landmark assets, including Banbury Gateway, Crowngate Shopping Centre in Worcester, The Gate in Newcastle and Fosse Shopping Park, Leicester. Our goal is to ensure retail parks such as Banbury Gateway meet their sustainability objectives, as well as the wider challenges facing the sector.
The sustainability challenges
A key challenge for retail is maintaining high footfall in the out-of-town locations, continuing to draw in the internet shopper through engaging place making and providing a positive experience at the park, while balancing the need to encourage greener travel and reducing the site’s carbon footprint.
The Crown Estate’s approach
TCE’s considerate ‘conscious commercialism’ approach puts the customer first. This means sites provide environments which deliver both in terms of sustainability as well as being attractive locations to visit.
Contributing to the local community/economy
As far as Banbury Gateway is concerned, the local community is served by a Primark, Next and M&S that arguably wouldn’t have come to Banbury had the retail park not been built and they all create additional jobs. The development also initiated investment into the surrounding areas, with the creation of natural walkways through planned nature trails and a funded bus route.
The big walkways and clearly defined paths within the car park really encourage people to walk around the park as opposed to driving between terraces, which is better for traffic management and sustainability
The retail park of the future
Tomorrow's retail park must meet the multiple needs of the future generations. With ever greater pressure on both local communities and the land these retail parks will be built on, new developments will have to become multi-facetted in order to be successful. This could mean anything from the creation of roof top farms to the idea of a retail park as a generator hub for the local community, allowing visitors to charge their cars and home batteries while they shop. The retail park may also become a hub for waste disposal.
Find out more by watching the annual reception film: