Massive £125m shopping centre near Grantham set to get go-ahead

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A massive £125 million designer outlet centre, which organisers say could one day lead to a new railway station in Grantham, looks set to get the go ahead.

Oldrid and Co wants to demolish a number of its existing buildings on Occupation Lane, in Gonerby Moor, and build a 20,479sqm build which would include space for 107 units covering retail, cafe and storage.

It also wants to build a new two-storey Downtown@Home store and a garden centre along with a tourist information and visitor centre, training academy, a 2,000 sqm leisure unit and a series of offices.

According to the plans, Oldrids said the “premium operation would seek to attract upscale brands to the location”.

The company have previously said it would protect its existing 700 jobs and create an additional 1,700 jobs.

Access to the site would be from Occupation Lane and the A1 southbound and Allington Lane East, with deliveries from Palmer Road.

The new retail centre would include 1,979 parking spaces, including a multi-storey car park, 11 coach parking spaces, bus stop and electric vehicle charging.

The plans even go so far as to mention aspirations to create a new “Northern Gateway” railway station on the nearby Nottingham to Skegness line, however, no application has been made for this yet.

Recommending approval, officers said: “The development will deliver wide economic regeneration benefits to the site and surrounding area that outweigh any harm caused by the small reduction in the overall supply of employment land within the district.”

They praise the creation of jobs and its potential to “clawback spend leaked to other centres outside the district and increase tourism and visitor footfall in the district by enhancing the image of Grantham as a retail, leisure and visitor destination.”

The application has received 272 presentations from the community, with more than 220 in support and more than 40 against.

The application has seen objections from Lincoln City, Newark and Sherwood District, and Peterborough City councils fearing it, along with another £100 million shopping village to be built nearby, would drive trade away from their areas.

The creators of that development, Buckminster and Rioja, are also listed as objecting to the plans, raising concerns including  the danger to Grantham town centre and whether the plans will fulfil their objectives.

A number of parish councils and objectors have also raised concerns over traffic levels and road safety.

However, organisations such as Grantham College, CentreBus and Pyle Own, which owns the Moto Grantham north service stations, have supported the plans.

Approval will be considered alongside a series of developer conditions financial contributions totalling more than £545,000 to help towards tourism, promotion of the town centre, bus services and travel and retail training.

A “non-poaching agreement” will also be considered which would prevent the new development from taking shops away from the town centre.