Fashion and homewares giant Next has seen its plans for a new £5.4m megastore in Dundee rejected by the council.
Next submitted plans earlier this year to extend its existing Home store format at Kingsway West Retail Park by over 35,000sq ft, bringing its total site space to 64,000sq ft, with the potential of creating 125 jobs.
However, Dundee City Council decided to refuse the plans due to Next proposing a new 14,000sq ft clothing and footwear sales floorspace within the store, which goes against council rules that outlets in retail parks are not allowed to sell fashion goods in order to protect city centre trading.
To combat the regulations, Next asked the council to relax the rules of the Scottish Planning Policy (2014) and said it would keep its Overgate Shopping Centre store open until 2024 if the plans were approved.
This isn’t the first time Next has failed in an attempt to expand its Kingsway Retail Park presence, after plans were rebuffed back in 2013.
Submitted within the plans, Next outlined a ‘conversion and alteration’ of its ‘existing retail unit comprising external alterations to elevations, installation of a mezzanine floor and formation of external sales and display area to create garden centre’.
Commenting on the refused decision, Gregor Hamilton, head of planning at Dundee City Council, said: “It would set a precedent for additional proposals of a similar nature to the further detriment of the City Centre, District Centres, Commercial Centres and the development plan retail strategy.”
It remains unclear if Next are to appeal the decision.