No progress on £46m South Normanton retail development which 'would hit Sutton firms'

Keeping Our Town In Focus campaigners are fighting to protect Sutton town centre.
Keeping Our Town In Focus campaigners are fighting to protect Sutton town centre.

A retail development which campaigners believe would "hit Sutton firms with £33m of losses" is still no closer to being built despite its planning application being validated last September.

The Park 38 development, located in South Normanton just off the A38 at East Midlands Designer Outlet, would see 10 individual retail stores and a small coffee shop, a ‘pod’ of food and drink outlets, including a possible restaurant or wine bar, and a hotel with a restaurant or bar and car parking.

If given the green light, the build would involve demolishing dwellings and farm buildings at the site to make way for several food and retail units, and possibly the hotel.

But campaigners at group Keep Our Town In Focus say this would be “significantly detrimental” to Sutton town centre businesses and pose a “threat to the local economy”.

They say the proposed development at Park 38 in Bolsover could cause more than 1,700 job losses if rubber-stamped by councillors, suggesting the retail park could also cause up to £33m of losses to Sutton businesses.

Matthew Williams, from town planning advisors Williams Gallagher, who act on behalf of the Keep Our Town In Focus campaign, said: “The futures of town centres are at risk if the planning application is approved.

"We are asking people to support the livelihood of surrounding towns through the Keep Our Town In Focus campaign and to register objections to the application."

The plans had previously been declined by Bolsover District Council following objections, however revised plans were submitted with the same character and, yet again, have not been approved.

The campaign group said that despite the significant concerns raised last time, the revised plans still include retail units, restaurants and other food and drink outlets, a hotel, and a leisure outlet that ‘threaten to compete’ with existing businesses.

However Limes Development, which submitted the applications, said the re-submission incorporates a number of detail changes and that the retail element of the scheme will primarily be focused on bulky goods like furniture, DIY and homewares.

Marcus Jolly, of Limes Developments, said: "This is a substantial piece of inward investment into the South Normanton area which signals investor confidence.

"In economic terms, it represents a huge boost to South Normanton with the creation of an estimated 1,100 new full-time jobs and training opportunities.

"We are aware that concerns about retail impact have been raised in the past from established town centres within the catchment of the proposed development and we have addressed that.

"We have provided detailed technical information as part of the new proposals which shows that there will be no significant impact on established centres which will continue to trade healthily and increase their turnovers.”

Hundreds of objection letters have been submitted to the planning department at Bolsover District Council from local and national businesses such as Rymans, Specsavers and EE, with 241 objections and just one supporting comment submitted to the portal.

The application was set to be reassessed by Bolsover District Council's planning team in January 2019, however there has been no progress since it was rejected in 2018.

Bolsover District Council have been contacted for an update on the planning progress.