Turnstone secures further leisure pre-lets at Northern Gateway, Colchester

Turnstone Estates has agreed three further pre-lets at its Northern Gateway leisure site in Colchester. Turnstone has a long lease agreement with Colchester Borough Council for development of the 18-acre site which will be anchored by a 12 screen cinema with Superscreen and 4DX, operated by Cineworld.

The exciting tenant line-up is now joined by Travelodge who will take a 25- year lease of a proposed 80-bedroom hotel. Smashburger, following successful openings in Milton Keynes, Brighton and Newcastle, has continued its UK roll out of specialist burger restaurants by taking a 25-year lease on a 4,015 sq ft unit. Meanwhile, Lethington Leisure has agreed a 20-year lease on a ground floor leisure unit of about 14,500 sq ft for its Paradise Island Adventure Golf centre.

Chris Goldsmith, of Turnstone Estates, said: “We are delighted to have secured three further leading leisure tenants at the Northern Gateway. There is also strong interest in the remaining units. This exciting project will deliver a state of the art leisure development – together with a superb dining offer -and will provide a great boost to Colchester and its wider environs.”

Tony O’Brien, Travelodge’s UK Development Director said: “Colchester has one of the fastest growing populations of any of the country’s districts, but also has a real shortage of good quality, great value hotel accommodation. The new Travelodge that will be built as part of the Northern Gateway development will help to provide this. With its fantastic leisure and restaurant offers, its proximity to the Colchester park and ride facility and its direct access from the A12, Northern Gateway will be a great place for our business and leisure customers to stay. This will be our first hotel in Colchester and we are keen to secure another in the town centre.”

Edward Dantzic, Director of Paradise Island Adventure Golf commented: “ We had been looking for some time to bring our business model south of the Midlands and were delighted when the Colchester opportunity presented itself. We are looking forward to being part of what we strongly believe will be a successful development.”

Northern Gateway is located on the northern fringe of Colchester at Junction 28 of the A12 and adjoining the Weston Homes Community Stadium, home to Colchester United Football Club. The site forms part of Colchester Borough Council’s Northern Gateway vision for a major regional sports and recreation facility on land it owns.

Northern Gateway benefits from an outline planning permission from 2006. In April 2016 Turnstone submitted both a reserved matters application and a full planning application for the ‘North Site’, comprising:

•  a multi-screen cinema;
•  up to thirteen restaurant units;
•  80 bed hotel;
•  indoor active leisure units;
•  flexibility to convert some of the restaurants to further indoor active leisure use;
•  car parking for circa 750 vehicles;
•  a high quality landscaped piazza.

Reserved matters approval has been granted for much of the scheme and a decision on a full planning application is anticipated within the next two months. Construction is expected to commence in mid 2017 with opening scheduled for late 2019. Turnstone is also working up plans for the ‘South Site’ comprising further leisure uses. The scheme is expected to create 600 new full and part time jobs, plus 233 construction jobs.

Turnstone is advised by Whybrow and Wareing & Partners. Carter Jonas advised Travelodge.