Decision due on brand new Home Bargains branch for Preston

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Plans for a new Home Bargains store in a Preston suburb will be decided upon by councillors next week.

The discount retailer is eyeing vacant premises off Blackpool Road in Deepdale, which were previously occupied by PC World. That outlet is now contained within the Currys store in the next door unit.

Home Bargains - under its corporate name of TJ Morris Limited - has applied for permission to change the type of products permitted to be sold in the empty facility.

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The firm has asked Preston City Council to allow up to 30 percent of the total floorspace to be given over to food and drink sales, in order to enable the site - alongside the Deepdale Retail Park - to operate as a Home Bargains branch.

The site of the proposed new Home Bargains store on Blackpool Road (image: Google)The site of the proposed new Home Bargains store on Blackpool Road (image: Google)
The site of the proposed new Home Bargains store on Blackpool Road (image: Google)

Currently - under permission granted when the two units were first given the green light back in 2005 - some “ancillary” food sales are allowed, but they must take up no more than five percent of the internal space. The main business of the site must be restricted to the retailing of items including building materials, gardening merchandise and kitchen furniture.

In its application to town hall planners, Homes Bargains is seeking approval for the sale of “health and beauty products; electrical goods and accessories; DIY and garden products and accessories; camping products and related items; medicines; baby products; household products; toys and games; pets, pet foods and other pet supplies; home furnishings and ornaments; seasonal products; food and drink products…and other items ancillary to these products”.

A special planning test - known as a ‘sequential assessment’ - has been carried out in an attempt to demonstrate that no other suitable locations in nearby district shopping centres or the city centre were available for the proposed store.

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It concluded that the possible alternatives were either too small, not going to be on offer quickly enough or had no dedicated customer parking spaces.

Vacant units within Fishergate Shopping Centre were also ruled out as an option as they fall outside the primary catchment area of the planned store, which is intended to be for those shoppers within a five-minute drive of the site.

The application will be decided by councillors on Preston City Council’s cross-party planning committee on 6th June.

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