Strong support for Morrisons’ retail park plans in Stamford

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STAMFORD residents showed their support for an out-of-town retail park.

Morrisons displayed plans at its Stamford store last week for a new complex of six shops and a pub/restaurant on the derelict site of the former Mirrlees Blackstone factory, off Uffington Road.

Customers were able to ask questions about the plan and more than 550 completed comment forms.

The store expects more forms to be returned, but initial analysis shows 84.8 per cent of the 554 respondents were in favour of the park. Only 8.6 per cent were against the plans, while 6.5 per cent were undecided.

Morrisons property asset manager Alistair Smith said: “The local support is overwhelming, confirming the need for this type of development in Stamford.

“Residents left us in no doubt that they are very keen to have this long-time vacant site redeveloped, mainly so that they can cut down on travel to competing centres, Peterborough in particular, and purchase these types of goods in Stamford. At present this loss of trade is detrimental to all existing local businesses.”

The supermarket will use the feedback and discussions with South Kesteven District Council and Stamford Town Council to finalise a planning application, which will be submitted in the coming weeks.

Although no brands have been confirmed for the six retail units, Morrisons says it is talking to a wide range of retailers, including DIY, fashion, furniture, and electrical appliance firms.

The supermarket chain also confirmed up to 45 jobs could be created in the new shops, with between 18 and 36 in the pub-restaurant.

The chain first submitted an application in 2006 and it was approved by South Kesteven 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.

Morrisons estimates that the site will provide 60 to 100 construction jobs while it is being built.