Detailed plans submitted for new Northumberland retail park

An early artists impression of how the Low Prudhoe retail development could look.
An early artists impression of how the Low Prudhoe retail development could look.

An Aldi supermarket and a KFC drive-thru are lined up for the Northumberland Estates’ latest edge-of-town retail development in the county.

The company, which represents the business interests of the Duke of Northumberland, has lodged detailed plans for a retail park on the outskirts of Prudhoe, just off the A695 Princess Way.

Outline permission was granted in December 2016 for a mixed-use scheme featuring retail units, a drive-thru restaurant, a pub/restaurant, a hotel and a petrol filling station on land south of Regents Drive in Low Prudhoe.

The eastern and western areas of the site will be developed in phases and this reserved-matters application, which was submitted to Northumberland County Council earlier this month, relates entirely to the eastern area.

It seeks permission for a large ‘discount food store’, another large unit likely to be a garden centre as it has an adjacent external open area, another six retail units of varying sizes and a drive-thru restaurant, plus a total of 439 parking spaces.

The plans submitted as part of the application reveal that Aldi is the likely operator of the food store, while elevation drawings show the drive-thru restaurant covered with the branding of fast-food giant KFC.

The proposals were first unveiled in March 2016 as part of a joint venture between the Northumberland Estates and the county council’s development company Arch, which has recently been replaced by Advance Northumberland.

The project included this retail development as well a town-centre scheme on the former allotment site off Front Street.

At the time, Colin Barnes, head of planning at the Estates, said: “Although one of the larger towns in Northumberland, Prudhoe has a surprisingly limited number and variety of retail outlets for its size.

“With plans for more housing in the town already on the cards, improving the retail offer is vital to avoid trade being lost to neighbouring town centres with more choice.

“Together these proposals present the opportunity to significantly regenerate Prudhoe, creating up to 200 new jobs, unlocking the development potential of otherwise constrained sites, and providing a much-needed catalyst for future economic growth in the town.”

Outline applications for both retail developments as well as a bid for 30 new homes on land south of Broom House Lane were all unanimously approved by the county council’s strategic planning committee in November 2016.

The edge-of-town retail park is the first of the three to make it to the next stage of seeking full planning permission.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service