Go-ahead for more small shop units at Flemingate shopping centre in Beverley

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 19 Sep 2016

PLANS to increase the number of small shop units at Beverley's £70m Flemingate development have been given the go-ahead.

The move is expected to double the number of smaller shops in the retail complex from seven to 14.

The decision by East Riding Council's planning committee came after councillors had previously rejected similar proposals, claiming the original approval for the scheme had been based on it featuring large shop units.

They had argued that allowing additional smaller units would have a negative impact on Beverley's traditional shopping area in the town centre.

Their U-turn over the issue came after developers Wykeland claimed demand for units in the town centre remained strong and showed no sign of waning as a result of Flemingate opening.

Dominic Gibbons, managing director of the Wykeland Group, said: "We are pleased the planning committee has approved this application.

"Consent will enable us to meet demand from retailers and maximise the very substantial benefits Flemingate brings to Beverley in investment, jobs and enhanced quality and choice of the town's retail and leisure offering.

"It sends out a clear message that Beverley is open for business."

He said more than 600 jobs have been created to date at Flemingate and estimated a further 200 jobs would be created from letting out the remaining units.

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It follows the opening of River Island and the announcement of Outfit and Superdrug opening next month.

Mr Gibbons said: "We look forward to announcing more lettings soon that will reinforce Flemingate as a leading retail and leisure destination and contribute further to the vitality and prosperity of Beverley."

The plans for more small shops had been opposed by Beverley Town Council.

A petition against the proposals signed by 68 local traders in the town had also been submitted to the council.

Confectioner Martin Sweetland, who owns a shop in Wednesday Market, collected the petition.

He said: "I am very disappointed by the committee's decision."It was exactly the same application as before when the vote was 6 to 4 against.

"To see it being voted through 7 to 3 without hardly any debate was very sad, particularly because it ignores the views of 68 local businesses and many members of the public."I got the impression the council just caved in because they didn't want to see the current situation with all the empty shops at Flemingate continue.

"I believe this will have an impact on the town centre because the shops here are already suffering despite what the council and Wykeland might say."

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