Ashchurch fields £30m retail and garden centre plans set for public exhibitions
A SET of three public exhibitions will be held later this week to find out what people think about a planned £30million retail outlet.
The blueprints for a shopping and garden centre will receive their first public airing on March 7, 8 and 9.
Gloucestershire-based Robert Hitchins Ltd claim the centre could generate as many as 1,000 jobs to the county and they want to gauge reaction to the ambitious project before submitting a planning application to Tewkesbury Borough Council.
The proposed scheme would see a garden centre and retail outlet village built on 48 acres of land next to the A46, near to junction nine of the M5.
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The public exhibitions will take place at Ashchurch Village Hall on Thursday March 7 between 1pm and 7pm, Friday March 8 between noon and 6pm, and on Saturday March 9 between 9am and noon.
Robert Hitchins' proposals are still 'in the early stages', according to the developer but preliminary talks have taken place with planning bosses at Tewkesbury Borough Council.
Local councillors and business leader have also been briefed on the plans.
"Our proposals have been very well received so far," said property and development director for Robert Hitchins Ltd, Christopher Haslam. "We realise there are important issues to work through such as traffic, drainage and the working relationship with Tewkesbury town centre.
"That's why we are keen to get local feedback before we submit an outline planning application."
The scheme would flank both sides of the existing BP garage.
The developers believe the actual building of the site could create 175 jobs and once finished there would be roles for up to 1,000 workers.
It is thought the retail centre would sell a wide range of goods, varying from clothing, sport and leisure goods and household items.
There would also be a 2,000 space car park for shoppers which the developers believe will be large enough to cope with the anticipated clientele which is 'expected to come from a 60-minute drive time, principally the Midlands'.
The developers have stressed that the development would not be in direct competition with Tewkesbury town centre for trade, rather they want a relationship which would see the retail outlet and town promoted 'as a joint leisure destination'.
The plans would include the creation of a tourist information point at the outlet centre and there would also be a subsidised shuttle bus to take shoppers to and from Tewkesbury High Street. To find out more about the plans visit: www.ashchurchretailoutletcentre.co.uk