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Fears for city centre retail

Next knocked back over city store plan

Next DundeePlans for a £5.4 million Next megastore on the outskirts of Dundee have been thrown out for a second time over fears of its potential impact on the city centre.

The retailer wants to open a home and garden centre at the Kingsway West Retail Park but the project was rejected by city councillors by 16 votes to 11.

They were told it contravened the Strategic Development Plan for the area which restricts the sale of goods at retail parks to protect the town centre, and also the city’s local development plan regarding the location of new retail developments.

Planning officials said the store would take £1.83 million of trade from its city centre premises in the Overgate Centre and at Gallagher Retail Park.

A report to the council committee said: “Such a scenario would have a significant damaging impact on the vitality and viability of the city centre and district centres.

“This would be particularly unacceptable at a time where it is noted that vacancy rates in Dundee city centre are higher than the Scottish average.

“In addition, members should note that should Next occupy the unit, it is their intention to close the Next store at Gallagher Retail Park.”

Next said the proposed store would create 125 jobs and said it would keep its Overgate store open until at least 2024 if it received support for the new outlet.

 

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