Reader poll: What type of shops does Bradley Stoke really need?

Signage at the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

In response to the deluge of negative comment that greeted last week’s announcement that another mobile phone outlet (Phones 4u) is to open at the Willow Brook shopping centre in Bradley Stoke, The Journal has today launched a reader poll to find out the types of stores residents feel are missing from our town centre.

An informal discussion on our Facebook page last week attracted more than a hundred comments and suggestions and we have used that feedback to select a list of ten store types to be included in our website poll:

  • Bank
  • Bookshop
  • Butcher
  • Clothing store
  • Fishmonger
  • Gift shop
  • Greengrocer
  • Homeware/DIY
  • Post office
  • Sportswear store

We’re asking all readers to take part by choosing up to three of the available options.

You can complete the poll in the sidebar of the website or on the Polls Archive page.

The discussion on Facebook also generated a list of specific retailers that people would like to see opening in Bradley Stoke, including New Look, Marks & Spencer, Next, Primark, Peacocks, PC World, Wilkinson, Iceland, McDonald’s, Topshop and Game. Why not use the comments section of this story to add your suggestions?

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  1. Having previously been fortunate to live near a (proper!) green grocers and butchers I’d love to see these open in Bradley Stoke. They were both cheaper than the nearby supermarkets. However I fear that they would never be able to compete with the might of Tesco and imagine high rents in the Willow Brook centre would make it impossible. I’m guessing the ones I knew only survived because they had been running decades and owned their premises outright.

    I’d also love an independent cafe in the town or a chip shop to replace the much missed Simpsons.

  2. I think that small local businesses should be given an opportunity. I know for a fact that there are a lot of small businesses here in Bradley Stoke and to rent one of the mobile units inside The Willow Brook Centre cost a fortune.

    We should be given a chance to show off our talent and products but not charge extortionate prices to rent a place.

  3. Is there a regular Farmers market? I have seen something once, but its not well publicised if it does exist.

    The only thing I can think of thats not sold in the area is Burgers?

    Its very telling that the only business that can seem to make stalls outside Tesco work long term is the phone one, loads of others have been tried, and never returned. The high rent is very greedy, which obviously is the problem.

    I am not generally impressed with Willow Brook management, their aggressive parking ticket policy is a concern. My elderly neighbour had a ticket because her wheel was just over the white line of the parking bay.

  4. Chris, please tell your neighbour she can safely ignore the parking “penalty charge” notice she received, along with the 7 follow-up letters she will receive from the parking management company employed by Willow Brook. They dress these letters up in pseudo-legal speak, but they carry no legal weight whatsoever and no parking company would dare go to court to put their case before a judge.

    The letters wil mention credit ratings, county court judgements, bailiffs etc but it won’t happen. After the 7th letter you won’t hear another thing.

    These parasitic companies rely on their threats to frighten people into paying pretending their “penalty charge notice” is a fine. It’s not and it can never be.

    Note: if you get a parking ticket from a council traffic warden or police you have to cough up.

  5. Anon-e-Mouse – Thanks for this valuable info! I’ve witnessed some real horrible behaviour from the parking attendant they made one young lad with a motorbike look like a total idiot and from what I could tell how he parked his bike wasn’t a problem! Odd how they seem to let young attractive women off though???

  6. Cheers anon, I did actually read up on it on Martin Lewis’s forum, and could see it was a scam by the Willow Brook centre.

    However, my neighbour found the letters very frightening and didn’t want it “hanging over her” so she paid it out of her small pension and made cutbacks elsewhere.

    Whilst I can see the need to control the parking around the Petrol Station forecourt for safety reasons, why on earth are they ticketing people in a private car park for being ‘just’ over the line, its not like there is a shortage of parking, or local office workers parking there all day.

    Its nothing more than a revenue raising exercise, and for a local community shopping centre that requires the support of local people, it seems very underhand and cynical.

  7. To be fair there is some awful parking in the willow brook car park. I got one picture of a car parked in an angle taking up two spaces! But i found the funny side of it though! However going onto subject i would love to see a bank or a Post Office.

  8. Have they repainted the white lines? Don’t think so, some are so faint it’s hard to even see the spaces on the bricks

  9. I feel we need a McDonald’s and then we will have a fully rounded food selection. I think the card shop is one of the best things we have there and that a small trinket store such as f.hinds would be beneficial. A mixed gender clothing store such as next is a real must. I certainly do not believe we require a second phone store.

  10. Sorry Ed, but what chance do you think a poll of residents will achieve? How many times do you think we’ll have to ask before they give us a post office, 3, 4 1000? It’s not going to happen.

    What we should be saying is What happened to the Farmer’s Market? There was fresh fruit and veg and meat plus many other things. I never seen a reason why it stopped. I know there was some concern from the local shop keepers that the car park would be full, but surely that what a shopping centre wants!

    Get the Farmers Market back on a weekend so the workers in Bradders can go and support it.

  11. @JonBoy The Farmers’ Market is still running. It is held on the fourth Friday of every month, from 9am to 2pm. It has never been held at the weekend.

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