Expansion to retail park in the offing for new pet store

Pets at Home
Pets at Home

Plans have been submitted for a new unit to expand the retail park to the south of Alnwick to house a national retailer of pet supplies.

Northumberland Estates has applied to Northumberland County Council for a new retail unit at Willowburn, which would be let to Pets at Home.

If approved, the new store would have a retail floorspace of more than 6,000 sq ft and a mezzanine level of more than 3,000 sq ft, which would be used for veterinary and dog-grooming services.

It would be located between the back of the Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre and the Sainsbury’s car park, with Alnwick Cemetery to the north.

The development includes an associated servicing area and the provision of an additional 32 car-parking spaces (including accessible parking) to the Willowburn Retail Park.

A similar scheme was originally approved in 2009, before being renewed in November 2012; the only difference with the new proposals is the addition of the mezzanine level.

According to documents submitted with the planning application, it is understood that Pets at Home would employ a total of 16 full-time staff and seven part-time staff.

Other locations in Alnwick town centre have been considered, such as vacant units in the Towergate development on Lagny Street, the Corn Exchange and vacant town units, but it is concluded ‘none of these sites are suitable or available for the development of the proposed Pets at Home retail unit’.

The company is the UK’s largest pet-supplies retailer, with more than 370 stores and 6,000 employees. The only other Northumberland location is Cramlington.