Retail park plans pave way for 300 jobs

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PLANS that will create 300 new jobs and secure more than 100 existing positions at a retail park have been backed by councillors.

B&Q successfully applied for planning permission to downsize its DIY warehouse store at Durham City Retail Park, on the Dragonville Industrial Estate, to make way for a new Morrisons supermarket.

Durham County Council’s planning committee yesterday approved the joint application.

The creation of a new B&Q DIY store, measuring 5,268 square metres, will secure around 115 existing jobs while a new Morrisons foodstore of 6,098 square metres will be created on the site, creating about 300 new jobs and a 536-spaces shared car park.

A statement by the applicants that was considered by planning councillors read: “Following a nationwide review of its properties, B&Q has taken a business decision that the current size of the existing store at Durham City Retail Park is no longer viable as a retail operation.

“The benefits include, job retention (circa 115 jobs) and creation circa 300 jobs, enhanced consumer choice and maintenance of B&Q’s presence at Durham City Retail Park.

“B&Q is taking proactive steps to address the issue of surplus floorspace within the business, which roughly equates to Waitrose’s entire estate.

“Its intention is to make the business estate fit for the future, securing existing jobs and maintaining customer service and choice.”

The alterations include the erection of new lighting, trolley shelters, bollards, service yard gates and fire exit doors.

There were no objections from interested parties to the plans.