Bulldoze the high street and build a giant park: is Stockton the future of Britain? | The Guardian
What do you do when M&S, Debenhams and New Look are all gone? Knock down the shopping centre and replace it with a riverside oasis. Could the ‘visionary’ plan of Stockton-on-Tees spark a revolution?
An empty Debenhams, a shuttered Marks & Spencer, an abandoned New Look: the town centre of Stockton-on-Tees has suffered a similar fate to countless high streets up and down the UK, struggling to survive in the online shopping, Covid-stricken era. But, while some towns scramble to convert empty department stores into flats, or fill vacant shops with community pop-ups and urban farms, Stockton Council has come up with an altogether bolder proposition for the post-retail age. It plans to demolish half the high street and replace it with a park.