Fri, 22 Jun 2018
PLANS have been submitted to demolish Newbury’s Narrow Boat pub and replace it with a 12,000 sq ft shopping unit at the London Road Retail Park.
Documents attached to the application say that a tenant for the unit has been identified, but add that discussions “are not sufficiently advanced” for it to be named at this stage.
The documents say that the unnamed shop has more than 400 stores throughout the UK already, but wants to expand to 700 plus in the next five years.
The documents add: “The tenant would be a new entrant to the retail offer in Newbury and has identified a commercial requirement for an accessible ‘retail park’ type store in the town.”
Planning documents say that the company’s ethos is to sell the best branded products at the lowest possible price, typically between 10 per cent and 30 per cent cheaper than elsewhere.
It adds that approximately 70 per cent of the retailer’s stock is regular lines, while the other 30 per cent changes continually.
In terms of the food and drink offer, the product lines do not include fresh, refrigerated or frozen food ranges.
Initial plans had asked for a 1,115sq m unit and a food and beverage unit with drive-thru.
However, following changes in tenant requirements, the smaller unit was been dropped from the proposals.
The Narrow Boat closed in December 2016 and the applicant adds that there is “no genuine prospect of a continuing pub use”.
The new store will create around 30 full-and part-time jobs.
Documents say that the retailer had looked at the former TK Maxx and Debenhams outlets in the Kennet Shopping centre.
Although the units are of a suitable size, the developers add that “neither unit is being actively marketed”.
Vehicular access will see minor changes to the existing London Road retail park car park, which is suggested should become one way, and 215 parking spaces are proposed.
A decision is expected from West Berkshire Council by Thursday, September 6 and to view the plans enter 18/01205/COMIND into the council’s planning site.