A major frozen food retailer has been revealed as the first of five brands coming to Warsop if plans for a new retail centre are approved.
Heron Foods will be the first to take up one of five available retail spaces at The Strand Retail Centre, on Church Street at the site of the old Strand Cinema and backing onto Burns Street.
The news comes following plans that were submitted to Mansfield District Council for the retail hub, which would see the old cinema and bingo hall demolished to make way for six retail spaces, car parking and two office units.
The plans were submitted by The ARBA Group, which hope to attract further high street retailers to the parish in a development which will "generate opportunities".
Andrew Allen, ARBA director, said: “This site has been derelict for some time, and it is clear that local people want to see something done with it that benefits the local community.
“There have been a number of false starts but hopefully, because we have consulted with a number of interested parties, our proposals will come to fruition.
"The people of Warsop deserve a development that generates opportunities, and we're very positive and are committed to the scheme.
"The history of the site is that Tesco had acquired it and were going to put a superstore on it, but they pulled out and then another retailer came in before walking away, and the site was left redundant.
"Heron are committed to this, they have contracted to taking over one of the units, and we are in legal negotiations with a number of other companies which we cannot reveal yet."
Heron Foods have been contacted for a comment about taking up one of the units.
The ARBA Group hopes to complete the development by the end of 2020, with the aim to give some businesses time to open before Christmas.
Councillor Andy Wetton, new chairman of Mansfield District Council and Warsop's district and parish member, said: "I’m fully behind what ARBA are trying to do, and I think they are going to be good for the area.”
Andrew Burgin, Warsop Parish Council chairman, said: “It is very positive that someone is investing in Warsop. It’s a site that has been derelict for some years, and so hopefully the new plans will be approved and then delivered.”
The ARBA Group held a consultation event with Warsop residents on Wednesday, May 22, where the public could ask questions about the development and air potential concerns.
Beverley O'Neill, 55, lives near the new development, and said: "The area is undeveloped and is sitting idle so I think it's good that something is being done with it.
"I'm really pleased at the news about Heron because Warsop is crying out for a frozen food shop.
"We don't need hairdressers or anything like that, we've got independent shops rooted into our culture, so I think bigger retailers that will bring more people back into Warsop is so important."
Clare Rourke, 45, lives on Burns Street where the back of the development would be built.
She said: "The condition of the road is not great as it is, we live in between three schools and we have buses going up and down already, so I'm concerned about the amount of traffic and the lorries for deliveries.
"I'm not against the development but I think a lot of shops are empty and we could do with filling them first."
Keeley Pearson, 18, who also lives on Burns Street, said: "Hopefully the whole thing will make Warsop come alive, there's not a lot going on at the minute and new shops are welcome.
"Traffic is a big issue on Burns Street and I think it could be loud and damaging to the roads, but the development is a good idea."
Eileen Nuttall, 71, said: "I'm concerned about big lorries coming up and down the area, I know they will come down during certain times but they are noisy.
"Traffic is a nightmare and I'm concerned about a potential fatality one day. I'm not against the development at all I think it's a great idea, just the impact on the roads."
Diane Stokes, 61, is concerned about the environmental impact but welcomed the development itself.
She said: "It's a brownfield site and it's right for development, and I think news that more shops are coming to the area is great news - particularly Heron.
"My big concern is the environmental impact it will have. There are no plans for trees at the site yet and we are in a climate crisis, so I'm concerned about the biodiversity impact it could have.
"I would like to see more trees planted at the site or a promise to support the environment because it will likely be an industrial development."