Boots WILL join Marks and Spencer on new Scunthorpe retail park
BOOTS has been confirmed as the third major chain to sign up to the £25 million M&S retail park on the outskirts of Scunthorpe.
The pharmacy, health and beauty firm will open a 10,000 sq ft store at the park, to be developed by Simons Developments Ltd.
It will join M&S and Debenhams in the development, planned for the site of the Stephen Smith's Garden Centre on Doncaster Road.
The go-ahead for the project was given by a judge after a judicial review into North Lincolnshire Council's decision to grant planning permission for it.
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Fierce opposition had been raised to the park in some quarters, with objections surrounding its impact on the town centre, as well as traffic and environmental concerns.
The go-ahead comes after a protracted saga that had already seen the development approved twice by planners before a legal challenge was lodged on behalf of The Foundry Shopping Centre.
After Mr Justice Hickinbottom's decision, Chris Newsome, development director at Simons, confirmed a deal had been signed with Boots. And he said the firm's High Street store would also remain open as part of the plan.
He said: "They are under contract. It shows again the belief in Scunthorpe, both in the town centre and our proposal.
"Boots is obviously a very high-quality brand and we are delighted they will be in both the town centre and our scheme."
The retail park is expected to create around 300 jobs and represents an investment of up to £25 million.
Mr Newsome said he hoped work on the site would begin as soon as possible and said he aimed for it to be open by summer 2014.
And he said discussions were continuing over the letting of the fourth and final retail unit at the park. He said: "We are in conversations and we have three of the four units let, which is very encouraging for a scheme before it starts on site."
The Telegraph has previously been given to understand that fashion store River Island was also likely to join the retail park.
Mr Newsome said he was delighted with the judge's decision and believed it was the final barrier to the development going ahead. He said: "It is great news and where else in the country is something like this happening? Nowhere.
"We have to grasp it, for one reason from a commercial point of view and more importantly, for the jobs and regeneration."
Boots was unable to comment.
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