B&M plans garden centre expansion in Blackburn

B&M has lodged plans for a garden centre in retail units abandoned by Maplin and Mothercare.

The cut-price chain wants to merge three units at Blackburn Retail Park.
Part of the expansion will be a new garden centre.
There will be 18 new full-time jobs if the development goes ahead.
The two units have stood empty for a while.
If approved, the scheme will include fencing, groundworks and alterations for the garden centre.
A planning statement submitted as part of the application by B&M reads:
“The proposed garden centre would be linked to an existing operational retail use and cannot be disaggregated.
“It is neither workable, nor realistic, to move the entire retail operation to add a 441sqm garden centre at an alternative site.
“From an operational perspective, it is impractical to locate a garden centre, whether standalone or part of a wider use. Given the need for immediate customer parking and handling of larger and bulkier goods.
“Furthermore, the tenant operates from both the retail park and Blackburn town centre.
“It is unrealistic to expect the retailer to move from the retail park to the town centre. Nor can the full garden centre offer be provided in the town centre.
“This proposal is in response to B&M’s need to upsize their existing store.
“The proposed alterations to the front elevation maintain the same design approach. This will complete the refurbishment of the retail terrace.
“The layout of the proposed garden centre will not affect existing retailers on the park.
“Besides these works, other repairs together with remedial works will be carried out. This will be to the building fabric as part of the investment to configure units 2 and 3.”

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