Discount shop finds new site
POUNDSTRETCHER is hoping to remain in Witney after a new site was found to house the discount store.
The company’s shop in the former Buttercross Works, off Station Lane, is set to be demolished to make way for housing.
But plans for a DIY store to move into a new 3,000 sq ft unit in Station Lane have been abandoned and Poundstretcher hopes to move there instead.
The decision has been welcomed by Witney’s Chamber of Trade, which said people loved Poundstretcher and were disappointed it could close.
Leda Properties, which owns the proposed new store site, is set to apply to West Oxfordshire District Council for planning consent this week.
Director Nick Hardcastle said: “The plan is to rehouse Poundstretcher to keep them in the town.
“I think it will be fantastic for Witney to retain a good local occupier, which has been in the town for a long time.”
The council gave planning permission in January for the demolition of the Buttercross Works premises to make way for a 185-home estate, with 105 terraced houses and a block of 80 flats for the elderly.
Meanwhile, Leda Properties was granted planning permission to demolish Mick Partlett Car Sales and Adenbourne Fieldsports, in Station Lane, to make way for a DIY store.
Its new planning application is expected to seek permission for a 3,000 sq ft unit in the middle of the site, with car parking at the front next to the road and a service yard at the rear.
Chamber of Trade chairman Lesley Semaine, right, said: “I think the town will be pleased if Poundstretcher is relocated, because I know a lot of people were very disappointed it was going. Everyone loves Poundstretcher.”
She said that residents were unlikely to be upset about the Station Lane site not being used for a DIY store, because the town already had a B&Q superstore.
B&Q took over the former Focus DIY store in Thorney Leys Park after Focus went into administration in May last year.
But Witney Town Council could fight the Poundstretcher plan, after opposing the DIY store proposal last year.
Councillors feared the DIY store would set a precedent and turn Station Lane into a centre for out-of-town shops – creating a “smaller version of Oxford’s Botley Road”.
Planning committee chairman Alan Beames said: “Retail units outside the town centre are frowned upon.
“Out-of-town shopping centres have decimated a lot of town centres in England.”
He added: “We will have to look carefully at the plan when it comes in.”