Plans lodged for new Co-op in Rothbury

Plans have been submitted for a new Co-op Food store in Rothbury.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 5:35 pm

The current High Street store has been deemed unfit for its requirements so a move some 200 yards along the street is being proposed.

The plan is to demolish the building housing the Mace convenience store at Town Foot and build a new Co-op store in its place.

A planning report submitted on behalf of applicants, Sansec Developments, states: The existing Mace Convenience Store includes the local Post Office.

Rothbury Co-op.

‘The proposed Co-operative Food Store will retain the Post Office within the new commercial unit to secure the future of this important service.

‘There is an existing Co-op on Rothbury High Street (net sales 214sq m) which has been a vital service to local residents for many years, but the Co-operative Food Group have completed a full strategic review of their existing store and found it to suffer significant shortfalls in relation to the requirements of a modern-day food store.

‘The existing store is too small to stock the full range of products required to maintain customer satisfaction and competitive pricing.

‘Additionally, the existing store layout is heavily compromised by the historic structure of the property, which in turn leads to problems associated with customer satisfaction and security.

The demolition of the building housing the Mace convenience store is proposed.

‘A larger floorplate with more flexibility in terms of internal layout is required for the Co-op to operate viably and effectively.

‘Feasibility studies have considered the option of redeveloping and extending the existing property on High Street; however, it is considered that a more strategic solution can be achieved at the new site on Townfoot.’

The report also reveals that the existing Co-op store would close upon opening of the new store.

If approved, there would be four jobs lost at the convenience store but 36 new full and part-time job opportunities at the Co-op.

‘This job creation is an increase of 15 full and part time jobs when taking into account the relocation of existing staff from the existing Co-op store in Rothbury,’ states the report. ‘It is a significant benefit that existing jobs can be safeguarded and that new jobs can be created for Rothbury.’

The report adds that, once the development is operational, it would bring a benefit of up to £375,966 per annum to the local economy.

The proposed development would see the creation of 406.4sq m of retail space on the ground floor, with a 167.8sq m back of house area and additional plant area on the first floor.

There would be no dedicated car park but planning consultants say there is ample on-street car parking in the immediate vicinity. They add that the majority of customers would arrive on foot. Deliveries would be to the front of the store.

Notwithstanding this, the applicant recognises that there may be an issue with long-stay parking in the town centre limiting the availability of on-street parking and therefore, is happy to propose and implement the introduction of traffic regulation order at Town Foot only for a maximum stay of two hours with no return of four hours and no restriction for permit holders. This is to be discussed with the highways department.

A final decision on the plans will be taken by Northumberland County Council.

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