Crossflats B&M Store Faces Permission Problems

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The store would create up to 85 jobs.

A retail giant due to open a new store next week has had to apply for permission to sell a number of its regular products.

B&M will be opening in the former Homebase store at Ashfield Retail Park, Crossflatts, on Wednesday, creating up to 85 jobs.

However, a planning condition currently in place on the large retail building prevents the sale of any goods apart from “home improvement items and gardening supplies”.

It means items such as clothes, food, furniture and electrical goods – common items in a B&M store – cannot be sold.

The condition was imposed by Bradford Council when the plan for the store was approved in 2006 so the then new business did not “adversely affect the vitality and viability of existing shopping centres”, driving trade away from shops in Bingley town centre.

B&M has now submitted a planning application to Bradford Council to alter this condition, which would allow it to sell items not related to DIY or gardening across a 650 square metre area of the store.

These will include food and drink, toiletries, toys and “non-fashion” clothing including underwear, slippers and baby clothing.

The company says the store, a B&M Homestore, will retain the garden centre and still be mainly focused on home improvement goods.

The application says the business will not have an adverse impact on Bingley town centre.

It says: “In order to secure beneficial occupation by B&M Retail Ltd  a very modest change in the permitted range of goods is proposed to include food, toiletries, toys and non-fashion clothing.

“The revised condition nonetheless maintains the primary purpose of the store as one selling a restricted range of DIY, home improvement and garden centre outlet.

“The proposal would generate significant community benefits through creating a number of new jobs and generating earnings. A minimum of 85 jobs would be created by B&M Retail Ltd occupying the unit. It will more than offset the loss of jobs after Homebase closes.”

It says only a quarter of “convenience goods spending” in the area is spent in Bingley, adding: “The vast majority of convenience goods expenditure is being spent in Keighley particularly at the Asda store in Bingley Street and the Morrisons at Worth Way.

“The sale of a limited range of food items will therefore assist in reducing the loss of expenditure from the Bingley area. Since it is not possible to do a top-up let alone main food shop in a B&M Homestore, the impact on the town centre and smaller centres will not be significant.”

A decision on the application is not expected until May. When the company was asked if they were still planning to open on Wednesday, a B&M spokesperson said: “We still hope to open next Wednesday and our new team are hard at work getting the store ready for opening day.”

The discount retailer has been expanding its network in recent months with other stores opening in the Bradford area recently.

More than 50 new jobs were created at another former Homebase store on Harrogate Road, Greengates, Bradford, in November after the building underwent extensive refurbishment.

There were also new stores in Pudsey and Clayton, creating more than 80 jobs in the area.

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