Shopping crowd

The amount of projected floor space in new shopping centre projects has contracted year-on-year, a new report has suggested

The slowing of the retail space race has slashed a million sq ft from the pipeline of planned shopping centres, with many projects at risk of being put on ice, a report has suggested.

The study from the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) and Lunson Mitchenall, published today, downgraded the estimated space in the pipeline from 29.4m sq ft last year to 28.4m sq ft this year.

The pipeline looks at projects that have been announced as in development, with the average scheme taking 11 years from inception to opening. Some projects in the pipeline are not slated to open until 2019.

However, the report says an extra 1.5m sq ft of leisure and retail shopping centre space will still be created in 2013, despite “significant barriers”.

“Increasingly the more challenging environment means those who missed the  previous development cycle may face a long wait before any form of scheme once more becomes a serious proposition,” warns the report.

It also downplays talk of “green shoots of recovery” despite major new centres being built in locations such as Canary Wharf, Leeds and Bradford.

“This year’s pipeline will be a welcome shot in the arm but we are not out of the woods yet,” said Marcus Kilby, chairman of Lunson Mitchenall and president of the BCSC.

The BCSC is holding its annual showcase in London today.