B&M and Mountain Warehouse set to open in Alnwick after Northumberland Estates plans for retail park approved

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Plans for a new phase of development at the Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick have been approved.

An application by Northumberland Estates to deliver 35,000 sq ft of retail space on land facing M&S and The Northumbrian Food Hall has been given the green light by planners.

It paves the way for a new B&M store with garden centre, the retailer having already pre-let a 25,000 sq ft unit.

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Mountain Warehouse has also been confirmed as the occupant of a neighbouring 5,000 sq ft unit, while another unit of the same size will be available following the completion of the construction.

Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.
Willowburn Retail Park in Alnwick.

A contractor is expected to be appointed shortly with work beginning later in 2023.

Anthony Cape, senior asset manager at Northumberland Estates, said: “We are delighted that planning has passed in this latest phase of development and investment in Alnwick.

"Willowburn Retail Park includes a mix of retailers and food operators providing a strong offering for the local community.

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"Its expansion, attracting new businesses to the area, will create new jobs and further establish the area as a thriving trade, retail, and leisure destination.”

Northumberland County Council senior planning officer Tony Lowe explained that an assessment by an independent retail consultant concluded that there are no alternative sites which are both available and suitable to accommodate the proposed development.

He added: “In terms of the impact tests, we have appraised the assessment submitted by Lichfields, and are of the view that given the nature of the proposal, it will not have a significant adverse impact on town centre investment or the overall vitality and viability of any defined centre in the catchment.

“Whilst the principle of development, in policy terms, is not fully supported by the policies in the development plan (in terms of loss of employment land), it is accepted that it is not required for any future expansion of the adjoining pharmaceutical plant.

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"It is also accepted that a previous consent has accepted retail development for the site and the proposal would probably see a net increase in retail jobs in the town by virtue of a degree of trade 'claw back' from other places and that the development would probably widen the range and choice of goods offered in the town. The principal of development is accepted.”

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