This post was first published by My London on 01/02/2020.
Next has announced plans to expand one of its stores in Croydon and lease part of it to discount supermarket chain Lidl.
The retailer wants to revamp its store on Trojan Way by expanding into the unit next door, which has been unoccupied since Fabb Sofas closed in June 2018.
As part of the plans, which will see Next offer both Home and Fashion items, Lidl would move into part of the vacant unit, using around two thirds of the existing floor area.
If the plans are accepted, Next will close its store at Valley Retail Park and re-let it to another business.
A planning application was submitted to Croydon Council on November 25 but the plans have not yet been discussed by the council’s planning committee.
A report reads: “Unit 4a has been vacant for 12 months, since the closure of its previous occupier Fabb Sofas in June 2018. The unit has been actively marketed with no interest expressed despite the unit being capable of being occupied by any non-food retailer.
“Positively, interest has been expressed by the discount food market and legal discussions are now well advanced with Lidl regarding a new Agreement for Lease on part of Unit 4a extending to about two thirds of the existing floor area.
“Lidl in fact have a requirement for 10 stores in the borough in addition to their five trading stores.
“The residual floorspace of Unit 4a will be amalgamated with Unit 4 to create an enlarged unit for Next. This will enable Next to deliver its expended ‘Home and Fashion’ offer which will facilitate the consolidation of two out-of-centre stores in Croydon.
“This consolidation will involve re-letting the existing Next fashion store at Valley Park to another retailer and relocating Next’s existing operations at Valley Park to the extended Trojan Way store.”
The planning statement says up to 99 new jobs will be created as part of the proposal, with all employees currently working at the Next store at Valley Retail Park transferred to the store on Trojan Way.
Of the new jobs created, six full time and 33 part time jobs are at Next and 20 full time and 40 part-time jobs are at Lidl.
The report says: “Overall, there are a number of economic and planning benefits associated with the proposed development, which should be afforded significant weight in the determination of all three planning applications.
“The benefits include the creation of a significant number of local employment opportunities, with the creation of new full and part-time jobs.
“There will be a tangible positive impact on local employment as a result, given less than a third of the retail floorspace is occupied and therefore not providing any employment opportunities.”
Next say the plans will have no impact on its other store in Centrale Shopping Centre.
“We have now agreed terms to renew our lease in Croydon Centrale which will be for a further five years and are planning to carry out a refit of the store once the new lease is completed,” the retailer said in a letter included in the planning statement.
“This further demonstrates our commitment to the town centre which we hope is properly acknowledged given the prevailing economic uncertainty.
Lidl, who also provided a letter of support in the planning statement, say it’s “logical” for the chain to open a supermarket in such a heavily populated area.
The supermarket chain said: “Our representation south of Croydon town centre is limited and Purley Way (being the primary retail area in South Croydon) has been identified as an area which a further store would be justified and for which we believe there is a strong demand.”
To view or comment on the planning application go to Croydon Council’s planning register and search reference 19/05579/FUL.
Original Article Link: https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/next-reveals-plans-expand-croydon-17653182