Shivering shoppers have lambasted The Beacon extension’s open plan design for allowing the icy elements into the shopping centre.
The multi-million pound extension has received a frosty reaction from members of the public who described the new doorless walkway as a ‘wind tunnel’.
Staff in the centre have complained of a loss of business as temperatures plunged as low as 4°C, and some workers said they have to wear five layers of clothes.
In one of the many letters sent to the Herald on this subject, Christine Smith wrote, “On a very cold day it feels almost like being a wind tunnel.” Another letter posted on the Herald Facebook page prompted a fiery response from more than 100 readers.
Lesley Gray said, “I work in the centre and not a day goes by without customers saying how cold it is. I understand retailers wanted to get in for the Christmas trade but someone should have said, ‘No, it’s not ready’.
“Even around the M&S side is cold. Outside seating in the mall used to be busy, I never see people sat there now.
“When I go to Sainsbury’s the benches are empty, there were always people sat there reading the paper. The centre is doing nothing to make it a pleasant shopping experience.”
Lynda Lindfield added, “No wonder it’s cold and windy, the huge open entrance faces into the prevailing westerly winds. It’s a fundamental design error.”
The Beacon posted on its Facebook page during the freezing weather on February 2, “We hope everyone is able to stay safe and warm!”
To which one social media user said, “Well we can’t stay safe and warm in your new extension, it’s freezing! Take it you haven’t heard of doors and heating?”
Responding to the situation, a Beacon spokesperson said, “We are in the process of reviewing the performance of the new extension, as is normal procedure following the completion of a new development.”