New £46m retail development back on the cards - but town centre business owners campaign against it

Campaigners believe the proposed Park 38 will damage town centres.
Campaigners believe the proposed Park 38 will damage town centres.

A new £46million retail development in Derbyshire is back on the cards - creating 1,100 jobs - after plans were re-submitted.

Park 38 is a proposed retail and leisure development located on vacant land off Cartwright Lane, South Normanton, also known as Wincobank Farm, opposite the East Midlands Designer Outlet.

Park 38 is a �46m retail development in South Normanton.

Park 38 is a �46m retail development in South Normanton.

The huge project by Limes Developments Ltd would have 10 individual retail stores and a small coffee shop, a ‘pod’ of food and drink outlets, including a possible restaurant or wine bar, and a hotel with a restaurant or bar and car parking.

There could also be warehouse space and a gym.

Initial plans for the development were submitted just over a year ago but were later withdrawn last June.

The previous application received criticism from business owners in nearby town centres who said it would be ‘significantly detrimental’ to trade.

Park 38 is a �46m retail development in South Normanton.

Park 38 is a �46m retail development in South Normanton.

The re-submitted scheme is of the same character and description, on the same site and by the same applicant.

The revised plans will be considered by the Bolsover District Council’s planning committee in December or January.

Limes Development said the re-submission incorporates a number of detail changes and that the retail element of the scheme will primarily be focused on bulky goods like furniture, DIY and homewares.

Marcus Jolly, of Limes Developments, said: “This is a substantial piece of inward investment into the South Normanton area which signals investor confidence.

“It will ensure the implementation of new mixed-use development at an important site which the local authority has long since identified as suitable for major development.

“In economic terms, it represents a huge boost to South Normanton with the creation of an estimated 1,100 new full-time jobs and training opportunities.

“There is great potential to attract employers with requirements for large-scale distribution buildings located within easy access to the M1. The value of the entire development is in excess of £46m.

“In design terms, it will provide high quality and attractive contemporary buildings which will in turn significantly increase consumer choice locally.”

Mr Jolly added: “We are aware that concerns about retail impact have been raised in the past from established town centres within the catchment of the proposed development and we have addressed that. We have provided detailed technical information as part of the new proposals which shows that there will be no significant impact on established centres which will continue to trade healthily and increase their turnovers.”

The campaign group which objected to the plans last time, Keep Our Town In Focus, is set to challenge the proposals again.

Matthew Williams, from town planning advisors Williams Gallagher, who act on behalf of the Keep Our Town In Focus campaign, said: “The futures of town centres are at risk if the planning application is approved.

“We are asking people to support the livelihood of surrounding towns through the Keep Our Town In Focus campaign and to register objections by 6 December 2018.”

The campaign group also said that despite the significant concerns raised last time, the revised plans still includes retail units, restaurants and other food and drink outlets, a hotel, and a leisure outlet that ‘threaten to compete’ with existing businesses.

The group’s main reasons for objecting include:

- The applicant’s assessment of impact is an underestimate;

- If the planning process goes ahead, there will be a dramatic impact on job losses;

- There are sites available existing in surrounding town centres that are suitable for retail use;

- The proposal is a threat to investment already made in nearby town centres;

- There are traffic-related issues with the development including a major impact on road infrastructure and traffic problems surrounding the major A38 road;

- The proposed retail park is unsustainable as it is an out of town location.

- View the plans online by visiting the Bolsover District Council website and using planning references 18/00470/FUL and 18/00471/OUT.