M&S Foodhall, c M&S

Plans for an M&S Foodhall at Frontiers Park will be decided next week. Credit: M&S

M&S Blackburn relocation facing rejection

Due to the availability of other sites deemed more suitable, refusal is being recommended to Hyndburn Council’s planning committee for when it meets on Wednesday, 17 April.

The retail giant is closing its town centre store on King William Street as it seeks to open a purpose-built 15,000 sq ft foodhall at Frontiers Park. The retail park is located on the eastern edge of Blackburn, within Hyndburn Council’s remit.

According to the planning statement put together by PWA Planning the closure of the King William Street store, which was announced at the end of last year, will happen regardless of the outcome of this application.

As well as offering double the foodhall footprint that the town centre store currently has, the switch to the undeveloped site at Frontiers Park would generate 160 car parking spaces.

The statement outlines that the move is being proposed due to a change in retail trends and the rise of online shopping.

It adds that the Blackburn scheme follows on from M&S’s closure of its Accrington town centre store, in a move away from units offering a mix of goods but mainly focused on clothing sales. The Frontier Park plan signifies a transition towards focusing predominantly on food and beverage produce.

But an officer report to the planning committee recommends rejection because there are “preferable sites which are available, suitable, and viable for the proposed development”, which in turn fails to comply with Hyndburn’s development plan.

As well as PWA, Campbell Driver Partnership, Dynamic Transport Planning, and EPS are on the project team.

To see the plans, search for reference number 11/22/0435 on Hyndburn Council’s planning portal.

Your Comments

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I recall about 10/15 years ago a similar issue occurred in Blackburn/ Hyndburn when a few shops were denied permission to leave Blackburn town centre for hyndburn. The case went to the high court were the councils won hands down

By George

Unfortunately, M&S are doing this all over the country. Closing town centre stores to move to edge-of-town retail parks with surface car parking galore. Its depressing and another nail in the coffin for town centres up and down the country.

By Anonymous

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