M&S Foodhall, c M&S

Plans for an M&S Foodhall at Frontiers Park have been approved. Credit: M&S

M&S relocation to Hyndburn approved

The retail giant will open a purpose-built 15,000 sq ft foodhall at Frontier Park, located on the eastern edge of Blackburn but within the neighbouring borough’s remit.

Councillors on Hyndburn Council’s planning committee opted to go against officer recommendations to refuse the application by granting the plans, with M&S determined to close its Blackburn town centre store.

The officer report recommending refusal suggested the Frontier retail park proposal failed the sequential test, went against the development plan, and argued there were other more suitable sites available for the foodhall.

But the committee also had to weigh up a statement put together by PWA Planning as part of the application which made clear the town centre store closure would go ahead regardless of the outcome of the Frontier Park application, which would leave the area without an M&S.

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

Closure of the King William Street store in Blackburn town centre was announced by M&S at the end of last year.

The move is being made due to a change in retail trends and the rise of online shopping, transitioning more towards food and beverage produce rather than clothes sales.

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.

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