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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Concerns over Barrow town centre as coffee giant eyes up retail park

A GLOBAL brand coffee shop could open a new business in an edge-of-town retail park.

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ARTIST’S IMPRESSION The drawing, above, shows how the new Costa Coffee and adjoining business would look SUBMITTED

An application has been lodged to build a new commercial building with two units on the Hindpool Retail Park in Barrow. It would be next to the Brantano shoe shop and feature outdoor seating.

If planning permission is granted, Costa Coffee will open in one of the units and talks are ongoing with prospective occupiers of the other one.

The application from agent, Blue Sky Planning, said it was likely to be a retailer such as a sandwich shop or a phone shop.

Roy Worthington, owner of Tastebuds cafe in Duke Street, was anxious about the possibility of another major competitor. He said: “There is already enough competition. It’s getting harder and harder.

“Since the changes to benefits, it’s definitely had an impact and it’s made me realise that our economy kind of runs on benefits.

“The location of it also takes people out of town. That’s a mistake made with supermarkets in the past.

“I know it creates jobs, but the money will go out of the town, whereas the money I make, I spend 99 per cent of it in Barrow.”

Stuart Groundwater, chairman of Barrow Traders’ Association, said: “We can always look at new investment as a positive, but yet again, investing in retail parks looks less promising for the town centre.

“The local council have made heavy investments in our town centre, with Portland Walk and paving the town centre.

“Let’s hope they will back the plans of the Barrow Traders Association this week at a meeting structured around parking meters and parking in the town centre.”

The statement from Blue Sky Planning said: “The development is proposed to complement and be ancillary to the existing retail and other facilities available at the retail park to improve the shopping environment.

“The scale of development and the type of occupier is commonly found on retail parks across the UK, including Barrow.

“Given the site’s location, the proposals will also add to the services available.”

Have your say

Will the last person to leave the town centre please turn out the lights...?

Posted by Matt on 16 May 2014 at 06:15

If the council diverted it's energies from harassing motorists to catching those who take their dogs out to foul our streets, beaches and green spaces, perhaps they can offer free parking and can stop the rot in town centre.

Posted by SRS on 12 May 2014 at 06:43

View all 12 comments on this article

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