DIY store sawn in half

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Plans to divide a DIY superstore in two to make way for a supermarket look set to be given the green light by planning chiefs.

The move will see the existing B&Q store on Craven Drive, Bamber Bridge, near Preston, made into a smaller B&Q store and a new Morrisons food store.

Planning bosses at South Ribble Council have recommended the plans should be approved and they will go before a meeting of the planning committee on Wednesday. Planning documents state: “B&Q has operated its Warehouse unit at Bamber Bridge since June 2001, occupying the entirety of the existing building for that time.

“The DIY market has however suffered in recent years due to the economic downturn. In order for the existing store at Bamber Bridge to remain financially viable the store needs to be subjected to B&Q’s “Right-Sizing” scheme, where sections of the larger B&Q Warehouse stores are leased out to secure the future of a B&Q presence at that site.

“The proposed “Right Size” B&Q would continue to offer a substantial range of home improvement goods and expertise under one roof, whilst it is expected that the number of staff employed will be similar to the number currently employed at the store (95 people). In addition to this approximately a further 300 new jobs would be created at the new Morrison’s food store.”

Council bosses have received 40 letters in support of the plans and three objections.