Work on new retail park could soon begin in Stamford

Gv - Land owned by Morrisons (part of the former Blackstones site (and route of the Stamford-Essendine railway line) cleared ready for redevelopment'Photo: MSMP050215-003js
Gv - Land owned by Morrisons (part of the former Blackstones site (and route of the Stamford-Essendine railway line) cleared ready for redevelopment'Photo: MSMP050215-003js
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Work on a retail park on the outskirts of Stamford could soon begin, almost 10 years since the idea was originally proposed.

Morrisons confirmed this week that it was carrying out “ecology works” on the former Mirlees Blackstone site next to its supermarket in Uffington Road.

Planning permission for the park, which would comprise six non-food shops, was granted by South Kesteven District Council in December 2012. The idea was first put forward in 2006.

A Morrisons spokesman said: “We are delighted that the delivery of this exciting development is steadily progressing and we are currently on site undertaking ecology works.

“We are in advanced discussions with a number of potential operators and continue to liaise with both the local and county authorities to agree the final details of the proposals before we can start on site.

“We look forward to finalising the plans and creating this new retail and leisure destination for Stamford.”

The supermarket chain initially submitted an application for the retail park and a fitness centre in 2006.

It was approved by the district council in July, 2008. But the permission was quashed by a High Court judge in July, 2009, after Stamford Chamber of Trade and Commerce and FH Gilman and Co objected to the development, saying it would hit town centre trade.

Mr Justice Andrew Collins said at the time that the council had made errors in dealing with issues on public transport and setting a floorspace limit on the sale of “non-bulky comparison goods”, such as such as clothing, toys, books, pet products and soft furnishings.

The sale of smaller goods would be more likely to have an adverse impact on town centre shops than the sale of bulky goods including fridge-freezers and washing machines, he said.

The application was amended following the High Court decision. Morrisons reduced the floorspace of the units and removed the fitness centre. The amount of floorspace dedicated to non-bulky items was also reduced.

A separate application to build a pub restaurant on the site was approved in February 2013. A date for construction has not yet been confirmed.