?60m factory outlet and garden centre gets green light

A ?60m factory outlet and garden centre could be open in Ashchurch within three years after being given the green light by the Government.

Developer Robert Hitchins Ltd has been granted outline planning permission by Tewkesbury Borough Council for its planned factory outlet and garden centre.

The company can now forge ahead with plans to bring the retail and leisure complex to a 23-hectare site off the A46, which is close to the BP garage near junction nine of the M5, along with up to 1,000 jobs on completion and more than 200 during construction.

Borough councillors backed the outline planning application in principle in March but because of the nature of the application, it was referred to the Secretary of State.

The Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed that the Government had decided not to call in the application and planning permission was subsequently granted by the council.

Robert Hitchins’ property and development director, Simon Tothill, said: “We’re delighted with the decision and would like to thank borough councillors for their backing. We’re pleased to have worked with both officers and councillors in a positive way.

“We are confident that this proposal will create huge benefits for Tewkesbury town and borough, bringing up to

The out-of-town retail outlet centre will offer clothng, sport and leisure goods alongside a garden centre on the south side of the A46.

There will be a tourist information point at the outlet and a shuttle bus into Tewkesbury town centre which will link with Ashchurch’s railway station, providing an opportunity to promote the area as an all-year-round tourism and leisure destination.

“But there is a lot involved in a scheme of this nature. First, all the factors of the planning application have to be taken into account. Design work also needs to be undertaken which will take some months before we submit a further planning application.”

A package of planning gain measures have been agreed which will contribute ?1.2million towards town centre initiatives in Tewkesbury and ?364,000 towards major improvements to the A46.

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