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Sunday, 21 December 2014

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Edge of town shops plan would harm high street - claim

Plans for a retail development on the outskirts of Egremont are set to be thrown out.

The earmarked site at East Road, which housed the former chocolate factory, has been empty for more than 25 years.

Egremont Assets has lodged plans with Copeland Council for the development, however there are fears if it were to be built it would steal trade from the town’s Main Street.

Copeland’s planning officers are recommending members of the council’s planning panel refuse the scheme when they meet on Wednesday.

The development would include two single-storey buildings for retail purposes. One would be used for a general convenience store, with the other split into three smaller units.

The plans also include a 31-space car park and delivery vehicle parking area.

Egremont town council has not objected to the scheme, but stated the development could take away people from the town’s Main Street.

Six letters of objection from nearby households have been lodged against the development. People raised concerns including pedestrian safety, parking on East Road and an unacceptable increase in traffic.

Copeland’s planning officer, John Groves, said that it was the council’s view there was an “alternative site” for the development at Chapel Street, which is behind the town’s Main Street and partly in the town centre boundary.

However, the company states a number of reasons why the site is not suitable, including the location being inferior to the shops on Main Street and that there are no details of size, scale and form of retail development at Chapel Street available.

In a report to councillors, Mr Groves said: “Despite the supporting case put forward, it remains our view that the application site constitutes an out-of-town centre site which is not well connected and located in relation to Egremont town centre.

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