Garden Centre plans given the go-ahead

More than 400 new jobs are set to be created after plans for an Asda store and garden centre in?Cheshire?have been given the go-ahead.

The hope is that the proposal will result in a major long-term economic boost for the area, with the creation of up to 400 jobs for local people at the store.

In tandem with Asda jobs, B&Q?s own plans include the safeguarding of 119 jobs in its existing Jinnah Road store.

The overall proposal, jointly designed and proposed by the two retailers, would see B&Q convert half of its existing retail unit into a ?new generation? B&Q store, with Asda opening a new 50,000 sq ft (sales area) in the other half of the current unit.

The new B&Q store would decrease in overall size but feature a new garden centre, alongside a range of other fresh features.

These include a brand new overall layout, lower level displays and colour coded signage, along with the latest decor, home furnishings and lighting products. In addition, the store would carry everything needed for tending the garden year-round.

The Asda store is set to carry a wide selection of product lines, including the standard Asda, Smart Price and Extra Special ranges, along with some non-food lines.

ASDA senior property communications manager, Philip Bartram, said: ?We were delighted with the decision regarding the Asda/B&Q planning application in Smallwood.

“It?s very pleasing that the Borough Council?s planning committee voted in favour of plans that will not only prove a hugely beneficial scheme for Redditch in the long-term, but have also proven extremely popular within the local community.

“The scheme is set to greatly increase choice and competition for local shoppers.”

Redditch Council?s planning committee discussed the proposal for a second time last week.

The move to approve the plans followed an agreement to defer a decision at the previous meeting.

Mr Bartram added: “We can now begin to address the next steps of progressing the development, but in overall terms both the Asda and B&Q aspects of the scheme could be up and running by early 2016.

“I would like to thank very much ? on behalf of both Asda and B&Q ? the many local people who have voiced support for the plans throughout the planning process.?

The news will not be welcomed by everyone however.

The Town Centre Partnership, which formally objected to the plans, has said that the town centre will suffer as a result, while Capital and Regional, owners of the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, said that a store based in the centre would be more accessible for residents.

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