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Planners reject amendment to Beardmore Park Wickes development believing developers aim to add fourth retailer

PUBLISHED: 17:30 24 August 2017

More stores are coming to Beardmore Park, Martlesham. Picture: JASON NOBLE

More stores are coming to Beardmore Park, Martlesham. Picture: JASON NOBLE

Archant

Revisions to a major expansion at Beardmore Park in Martlesham were rejected after planners believed developers were attempting to divide one of its units into two in a bid to create another store.

 Land next to Tesco in Martlesham that is being developed.
Picture:Archant Land next to Tesco in Martlesham that is being developed. Picture:Archant

Developers LondonMetric Saturn confirmed in June last year that a new £8million retail park as an extension of Bearmore Park would take place on land next to Tesco in Anson Road.

The site will feature a new Wickes store, drive-through Costa and a third retailer yet to be announced.

In July, LondonMetric submitted an amendment application for revisions of the mezzanine floor in the Wickes unit.

But Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planners rejected the amendment as it believed the developers were attempting to create a new store.

The case officer report from Suffolk Coastal said: “The separation of this mezzanine floor into two areas would appear to imply the intention to sub divide unit one into two.

“This intention is supported by the submission of an application for a new shopfront.

“The gazetteer officer has also advised that contact has been made in relation to different address points for unit one further confirming the intention to sub divide.

“The proposal cannot be dealt with through the non-material amendment process as the revisions sought when considered cumulatively are considered to comprise more than a material change to the original consent.

“The changes to the mezzanine floor permitted would facilitate the sub division of unit one which should be the subject of a fresh planning application.”

A spokesman from LondonMetric was unavailable for comment, but the refusal by Suffolk Coastal means the developers could submit a fresh planning application which would seek to divide the unit into two.

If approved, the site would feature four retailers instead of the three currently designated.

The development continues a revamp at the retail park which featured the arrival of Hobbycraft into the former Conway Furniture unit, while Marks & Spencer is believed to be expanding into the Brantano store next door once the shoe store’s closure is complete.

An Aldi store is also set to be built on vacant land near Beardmore Park.

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