Vacant Metrocentre Toys ‘R’ Us set to be demolished to make way for new shops
An empty Toys 'R' Us store at the Metrocentre finally set to be demolished in bid to attract new shops.
The vacant toy store has been left disused since the company ceased trading in April 2018.
But it now looks set to be torn down and replaced by three new modern units, in the hope of attracting new retailers to the area.
Similar plans to flatten the former family favourite were also signed off in 2019, but have never come to fruition.
The latest proposals by the Metrocentre Partnership claimed the dated and “poor condition” of the Pinetree Way store has dampened interest from prospective tenants who could give it a new lease of life.
It is hoped the scheme, approved unanimously by planning chiefs at Gateshead Council, will “revitalise the retail park with a fresh new practical space and a sleek modern visual presence”.
According to the application: “Currently Toys ‘R’ Us does not meet the visual standard of overall Metro Retail Park, and appears disconnected from the wider retail park.
“This opportunity will enhance the retail park, lifting the design and appearance of the site.
"The development will have minimal impacts on the wider retail park, due to the positioning of the works in the south end of the complex.”
Local authority officials said they were impressed by the “contemporary and modern design” of the new units – which feature double height windows to the front and side.
A planning officers’ report stated: “Overall, it is considered that the proposed scale, design, materials and landscaping of the proposed development will result in a high quality design which is appropriate for a new commercial retail building, within a commercial area of the Metrocentre.
“Architecturally the building is generally considered to be of a better quality design than the existing, in terms of both its appearance and materiality, and the units create active frontages along the two main elevations providing a welcoming environment for patrons.
"Furthermore, the proposed landscaping improves the quality of the public realm at the main frontage of the building and provides an attractive screen separating parking areas from the rear service yard.”