Retail-park proposal is discussed at AGM

A retail park is being proposed for land on the edge of Alnwick.
A retail park is being proposed for land on the edge of Alnwick.

Concerns were raised during Alnwick Chamber of Trade’s recent AGM about a proposed edge-of-town retail-park development.

And members of the group who were present at the meeting supported a call to object to the proposal.

Northumberland Estates is behind the scheme, for land south of Greensfield Industrial Estate.

The application, lodged with the county council in December, includes a food store, a smaller unit for food and/or non-food retail unit, an additional non-food retail floor space, likely to be sub-divided into three separate units, a drive-through coffee shop and about 226 car-parking spaces.

Lichfields, which is handling the planning process on behalf of the Estates, has said that the units are likely to be occupied by national multiple operators.

The chamber, through its chairman, Carlo Biagioni, and Local Living representative, Philip Angier, has already lodged objections to the planning proposal, fearing its impact on the town centre and claiming it conflicts with the recently-adopted Alnwick Neighbourhood Plan.

At the AGM, chamber of trade members said they were disappointed that Alnwick Town Council’s planning, highways and transport committee had supported the proposal – albeit with conditions, including independent analysis of the retail impact study and the provision of town-centre signage.

Aside from the retail-park proposal, the AGM heard about the chamber’s activities during the past year, including participation in parking consultations, support for improvements to Column Field and a soon-to-be-launched local eating guide.

Membership of the chamber of trade is also growing. Three new members were elected on to the committee, which now comprises Mr Biagioni, Mr Angier, David Taylor, Maureen Hornsby, Jonathan Park, Gavin Penn, Steven Bell, Grant Welsh, Judy Wong and Craig Martin.