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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Plan for shops in empty Ulverston building gets thumbs up

PLANS to open an outdoor clothing shop and an agricultural store in a vacant Ulverston building have been cautiously welcomed by town councillors.

Ulverston Town Council backed Booths’ application to change the use of the former Heron Glass manufacturing firm’s headquarters, which stands opposite the supermarket, into three retail units.

Should the plan gain final approval from South Lakeland District Council, the units would be occupied by a West Cumberland Farmers store, a Mountain Warehouse and another business.

An area of land next to the building is marked as a Travelodge on a proposed site plan, but the budget hotel chain is not involved with the application – despite making clear its intention to open in Ulverston. Councillor Phil Lister, spokesman for the Labour side of the council chamber, told the meeting on Monday night: “We’re offering a cautious welcome to this redevelopment. It’s more important that something gets done soon at this particularly pivotal gateway to the town.

“But we do recall that when Booths got consent, there was talk of industrial units and high-skill units that would offer entrepreneurial and manufacturing opportunities.

“We also remember talk that it might even form a gateway to an industrial development that might develop backwards along the canal.

“We’re just a little concerned that, as much as we want something done there, it would block off any laudable and important plans for the continued high-skill and industrial development of the town. But it’s better than having it shut.”

Councillor Jan Hancock, a Conservative member, echoed Cllr Lister’s comments and told the meeting: “I would agree we would like to see it being used, rather than derelict like it is now in an important position in the town.

“But once you have designated the use as retail, you can’t take it away.”

Councillor Norman Bishop-Rowe said there had been reservations among traders and told the meeting: “It’s been expressed to me privately by several retailers in the town that it could become another Hollywood Park. Fine, yes we do need something, but now I propose this goes to the full planning committee, not just an officer’s decision. “

Councillor Jim Prosser said he was “disturbed” by the mixed use proposals, but councillors voted in favour of the application.

Have your say

We are pleased to see at long last that new stores are coming to Ulverston. The more stores and shops in and around Ulverston will help boast the trade footfall in the town centre and hopefully help bring the outdoor market back to full capacity once the one way system is sorted. We are an independent sole trader shop and we can only stock a certain amount of brands specialising in outdoor clothing and accessories only. We do offer an ordering system for people if we havent got your size or style in stock. We offer the personal touch to our shoppers which will hopefully keep them coming back. A little competition doesnt hurt anyone!

Posted by Mountain Air on 3 March 2012 at 09:14

I'm not entirely sure that the comments about unfair competition to shops already in town are right. Mountain warehouse sells low end outdoor stuff at bargain prices, and as far as I can tell, tthe existing shops sell high end stuff at top whack. No comparison really. No other outlet sells animal fodder, chicken coops and muck, so WCF are not going to compete directly with anyone either. No brainer. It would be BRILLIANT however if a DIY store got in as well...there isn't anywhere in Ulverston at the moment. The builders merchants are shut from Saturday lunchtime, so it's a traipse to Barrow if you need some stuff as usual...wouldn't it be better to keep it in the town? Bring it on, I say. And think of the jobs boost too...all good news as far as I can see.

Posted by neeklad on 2 March 2012 at 11:25

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