A new food store has been granted permission to open a branch in a Basingstoke retail park, as the first of its kind in the town.
The Food Warehouse (FW) has been given the go-ahead by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to vary the conditions of Unit 4 at St Michael’s Retail Park to “fulfil their longstanding requirement to open and operate a food store in Basingstoke”.
The new shop is set to create between 20 and 25 new jobs for the local community.
The Food Warehouse is described in the application as “a specialist warehouse style format developed by Iceland to complement their traditional high street stores”.
The stores are designed to be larger than the company’s high street Iceland shops, offering a much wider range of goods such as frozen, chilled and grocery products.
Each store also has a range of bulk buy and non-food lines.
The store set for the retail park in The Harrow Way will have a warehouse type look with wide shopping aisles, polished concrete floors and no ceilings.
A 149 square metre mezzanine floor will be installed to be used for storage.
Currently, the nearest store to Basingstoke is 15 miles away in the Reading Link Retail Park.
The applicant said: “Occupancy of Unit 4 will also address its now long-standing vacancy since the retail park first opened in October 2018.”
It added: “The applicant has marketed the unit extensively during that period and only received interest from FW to fulfil their new store requirement for Basingstoke.”
The shop would open between 8am and 9pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 5pm on Sunday, with extended opening hours during November and December to 11pm Monday to Friday to “meet their seasonal trading requirements”.
The council granted permission to The Food Warehouse despite an objection from Councillor Mike Westbrook, who raised concerns about the impact on the high street and other neighbouring shops.
The councillor for Brookvale and Kings Furlong said: “I believe it will impact on my ward in a number of ways. Brookvale and Kings Furlong sits adjacent to both this site and the town centre and is also home to Morrisons and a number of smaller independent retailers. I feel it prudent of me as a councillor to consider the impacts that this application will have on our town centre, district centres and local shops, which are all of immense value to my residents.”
He referred to other nearby retails suffering “a difficult trading period” adding: “This application also suggests it will create 20-25 new job opportunities, this of course would be welcome but not at the risk of other town centre and district centre businesses losing employees as their turnover is reduced.”
News from The Basingstoke Gazette