The old Next unit in The Peel Centre is being gutted and worked on to get it ready for Home Bargains.

The Next in The Peel Centre in Bracknell closed for good last year, despite it having some popularity with shoppers.

Now the unit is being prepared for Home Bargains, a budget homeware chain which promises ‘top brands at bottom prices’.

A video from Bracknell resident Rob Francis shows a construction vehicle tearing at roofing and other structures in the unit.

READ MORE: What we know about 377 flats plan at Bracknell Beeches site

It is unclear when Home Bargains will be moving in. Once the work is complete, the unit will contain Home Bargains’ usual range of items, with 30 per cent of the floor space being turned over for the sale of food.

Home Bargains disappointed large scale developers the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership with its plans earlier this year.

The Bracknell Regeneration Partnership was hoping that Home Bargains would occupy Princess Square instead. The developers were willing to amalgamate the Poundland, WH Smith and the Bracknell Shop Mobility units in Princess Square to accommodate the food store offer of Home Bargains.

However, a report by planning officer Basia Polnik stated that Princess Square would not be ready to host Home Bargains until 2026 at the earlier. The plan for the food sales area at the Home Bargains store was approved on Wednesday, June 2.

Bracknell News: Gutting works taking place at the old Next unit in the Peel Centre, Bracknell. Credit: Rob FrancisGutting works taking place at the old Next unit in the Peel Centre, Bracknell. Credit: Rob Francis

The main Next store was closed on September 13 after the lease on the unit expired. Yet Next briefly returned to the Peel Centre as a temporary outlet.

The loss of the Next at the Peel Centre was mourned by Bracknell shoppers, even though the fashion chain retains a presence in The Lexicon.

At the time of the September closure, Karen Petford Jordan said: “This is such a shame as this store is definitely a lot better than the one in town.”

Agreeing, Helen Squires said: “Not happy! Oh well, looks like I’ll be driving to the big Sandhurst one as the one in town is rubbish!”

READ MORE: Progress made on demolition of Bracknell's iconic Bentalls building

Home Bargains presence in The Peel Centre may only be short term. That’s because The Peel Centre has been earmarked for redevelopment in the Emerging Bracknell Forest Local Plan.

The redevelopment would involve the demolition of The Peel Centre, with it being replaced with a 900 home mixed-use development. Yet that is not set to be realised until 2036 and is conditional on the Emerging Bracknell Forest Local Plan being approved by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

The Peel Centre is owned by Landsec, an estate management company that possesses shopping centres, offices, retail parks leisure centres across the country.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked Landsec for a predicted opening date for Home Bargains but has not yet received a response.