Farnborough's Princes Mead shopping centre could be extended to make way for new shops.

An application for a screening opinion was submitted to Rushmoor Borough Council on Friday June 20 to extend the shopping centre and create an additional three retail units.

The applicant, Knight Frank Investment Management (KFIM), the owner of the shopping centre, wishes to develop part of the car park to the west of the existing shopping centre, adjacent to the former Blockbuster unit, for retail use with associated alterations to car parking and servicing.

In the application on the council’s website, Tim Miles, of Montagu Evans, the agent for KFIM, said the site has been identified as a key development site in the council’s Farnborough town centre supplementary planning document, which was adopted in 2007, and will make more efficient use of ‘under-utilised’ land.

It is proposed that one of the units will be occupied by a national toys retailer; however, tenants for the remaining two units have not yet been identified.

All units will be ground floor retail spaces, but, mezzanines will be installed if required by tenants.

A new service yard would also be created to the rear of the new building.

The application states: “The proposal is for an extension to an existing shopping centre in a previously developed town centre location.

“There are no nearby proposed or permitted developments with which impacts of the proposed scheme would cumulate.

“The existing land is currently in use as a car park in a town centre location. The site is therefore previously developed land within a dense urban context.

“The site is not located within an identified area of ecological importance or sensitivity, nor would the proposals have an impact upon any nationally or locally designated landscape areas.”

The document goes on to state that KFIM are currently preparing a planning application for the redevelopment of the site. However, it is not yet known when this will be submitted.

Andrew Lloyd, chief executive of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: “The master plan for Farnborough town centre includes the proposal for the potential extension of the shopping centre as a way of enhancing the town’s retail offer. The council is aware the owners have been looking to develop it and I see this as a step forward.”

At the council's cabinet meeting on Tuesday June 17, it was said that the council was considering securing a further lease for the Princes Mead car park and seeking approval to withdraw from any future management of it.