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Will 99p Stores come to Ashbourne?

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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DISCOUNT retailer, 99p Stores, could be coming to Waterside Park, where a retail unit has remained empty for five years.

After interest from major chains fell through, landlords at the retail park the Co-Operative Group, have agreed to lease the remaining unit next to Homebase to the under £1 chain.

Unit A2 at Waterside has never been used as a store since the retail destination opened in 2008.

Now planners will have to decide whether to allow a variation in the planning conditions for the site which will permit 99p Stores to start trading there.

Part of a national chain of discount branches, 99p Stores plans a £250,000 refit of the unit to allow the sale of around 3,000 stock lines, some of which will include non-food goods as well as ancillary food and drink.

In a retail assessment report commissioned by The Co-Operative Group, to support the application for varying the conditions of the planning permission, it is revealed that discount retailer Pound-Stretcher had made an offer for the unit in 2011, which was declined in hopes that a big-name chain store would be willing to take on the lease.

Clothing and home retailer Next also considered the unit in 2011, but declined to set up shop in the town as Ashbourne is too close to the major shopping centre in Derby.

Despite extensive marketing efforts to entice big retailers over the last three years, the final unit at Waterside Park has remained empty.

Now The Co-Operative Group have accepted the proposal from 99p Stores in a bid to lease out all the units at Waterside.

In the summary of the Retail Assessment supporting the application, researchers said: "The applicant has had to make a commercial decision to secure the final tenant for the park and it is important to stress that the Co-op has not held out for the highest offer, as there has simply been no other interest."

If the variation of the planning permission is approved, the introduction of 99p Stores will create up to 25 full and part-time jobs.

The news that 99p Stores could be coming to Ashbourne sparked the biggest ever web response to a story on Ashbourne News Telegraph's Facebook page, with more than 300 views and 50 comments within two hours of the post going online.

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