About 10 years ago, I appeared as an expert witness opposing the proposition to build a large mall on land at Silverstream as I had been a senior engineer in the planning, design and construction of three shopping mall in the UK.
At the time I explained the UK experience of two towns: One that had build a mall at the outskirts and one that had developed a mall in the centre, parallel to the main High St. The effect could not have been starker.
The town that built on the outskirts saw its CBD die while the one that built in the centre saw its CBD grow and prosper.
For this reason I am delighted to see the new owners planning a major revamp and expansion of the present Mall in Upper Hutt, including the cinema. This revamp, in my professional opinion, will lead to greater prosperity for our retailers as an enhanced mall will encourage shoppers to the centre of our city instead of them heading down the motorway to shop elsewhere.
~ Robert Bryan, Birchsville
Source: Fairfax Media, Upper Hutt Leader edition, 1st April 2015