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Gloucestershire Business News

New gym and superstore development to create 60 jobs

A 47,000 square foot retail unit, garden centre and gym development creating 60 jobs has been given the go-ahead by planners.

Gloucestershire developer Robert Hitchins Ltd is behind the scheme to bring a B&M Home Store with Garden Centre and Pure Gym to Kingsway.

The two national brands would occupy a three-acre brownfield site in Newhaven Road, Gloucester, alongside 205 parking spaces.

Michael Plimmer, senior development manager for Robert Hitchins Ltd, said: "We're delighted to have won the backing of councillors. These proposals will not only regenerate a derelict site which has been empty for more than a decade, it will also bring more retail and leisure facilities to people in Kingsway and more choice."

Mark Buxton, planning consultant from RPS, acting on behalf of Robert Hitchins Ltd, told the council's planning committee that 87 per cent of people who attended the public consultation in July 2018 were in favour of the scheme.

"The development will bring 60 local jobs and economic investment to Kingsway from companies who are offering long-term commitment to the area," he said.

Ward councillor for Kingsway Cllr Richard Cook addressed the committee in favour of the proposals. "This will replace an ugly brownfield site with a much-wanted retail facility," he said.

Councillors voted against a recommendation by council officers to refuse the planning application.

The officer's report said there were no issues about retail impact, parking, traffic or harm to the environment however it would be preferable, if the development were sited at the Peel Centre in Gloucester or at the Quedgeley District Centre.

Pure Gym is backed by cycling supremo Sir Chris Hoy and has almost 1 million members at 192 premises nationwide.

B&M, formed in 1978, is now one of the leading variety retailers in the UK. It employs more than 28,000 staff in 560 stores all over the UK.

Kingsway has emerged on the site of the former 340-acre RAF Quedgeley. The original masterplan included 3,300 homes, a 40-acre employment site, community and leisure facilities, retail, sports area and primary school.

Robert Hitchins, based at Boddington, Gloucestershire, is a property developers and investor in the South West and South Wales. It deals with the full development process from site acquisition and planning through to development and investment.

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