Green light for Farmfoods and Starbucks at retail park

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PLANS for a new frozen food store and coffee shop at a Bournemouth retail park have been given the green light.

BCP Council’s planning department approved the proposals for the former Argos unit at Ringwood Road Retail Park.

The large premises has been vacant since February, when the large retailer closed its doors.

BMO Real Estate Partners submitted plans for the unit in July.

As reported, the applicant said it intended to subdivide the premises into two units with the larger area being used by frozen food store Farmfoods. The smaller area has been earmarked for a Starbucks.

A planning and retail statement by consultants Montagu-Evans on behalf of the applicant said: “Farmfoods is currently not represented in Bournemouth, with the closest store being approximately 50 kilometers away. Therefore, the development proposals will introduce a new specialist operator, providing increased choice and competition to the existing market in Bournemouth.

“The development will create approximately 32 new jobs at the site, and represents a significant investment by the applicant, Farmfoods and Starbucks, while at the same time securing the long-term occupation of the unit.”

A Farmfoods spokesperson said: ”We look forward to opening at the Ringwood retail park in 2023 but an exact date cannot be provided at this stage.”

A spokesperson for Starbucks said they did not have any details to share at present.

The application was granted by BCP Council planning officers under delegated powers.

A report by an officer said: “Retail uses, habits, demands and occupancies of such parks have much evolved nationally over time.

“The proposed uses are not particularly or adversely out of modern keeping or character. A sequential test was undertaken by the applicants that did not identify any suitable alternatives”

The standalone Argos store vacated the unit in February. In 2020, the retailer said it would cease trading at 420 standalone UK sites by March 2024, with owner Sainsbury’s opening 150 Argos outlets within its supermarkets.



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