Downtown's £125 million designer outlet plans for Grantham receive unanimous approval
Major plans for Downtown's £125 million shopping village are set to go ahead after they received unanimous approval today (Thursday).
At a special meeting of South Kesteven District Council's planning committee this afternoon, councillors voted for the creation of the designer outlet to be approved for the second time.
The retail village will be constructed off Old Great North Road, Great Gonerby, and is set to feature 107 individual designer outlet stores, 2,000 parking spaces, offices, leisure provision and a training academy.
Oldrids and Downtown say the designer outlet also has the potential to create a further 1,700 jobs.
Having been announced back in 2017, the Downtown Grantham Designer Outlet was first granted planning permission in February 2019.
However, in January 2020, SKDC adopted its Local Plan, meaning the agreement had to be altered.
During the meeting this afternoon a number of concerns were raised surrounding the potential retail impact the designer village could have on both Grantham and Newark town centres, employment and planning obligations, but overall councillors were unanimous in their support for the scheme.
Judy Smith, vice chairman of SKDC, praised Downtown for their persistence in seeing the plans through.
She added: "Team Downtown have all spoken from the heart this afternoon. They have told us of their commitment to Grantham and indeed to the surrounding area."
Councillor Ashley Baxter also credited Downtown and Oldrids for their perseverance, adding: "Grantham and South Kesteven are not the only authorities along the A1. Many places would love a designer outlet village let alone two. We should let them fight it out amongst themselves. We shouldn't stand in the way."
This application is the second for a retail village in Grantham following on from that made by Rioja for a £100 million designer retail village between the A1 and Spittlegate Level which was approved and is now under construction.
Councillor David Bellamy added that "he has never seen such harmony across the planning committee especially for something significant as this."
Oldrids and Downtown managing director Richard Broadhead, told the meeting that they are looking forward to working closely with the town.
He added: "In two months' time it will be four years since we have submitted our planning application. Although it feels like yesterday it certainly has been a long haul and we've experienced many delays along the way.
"This application has undergone meticulous legal scrutiny. Speaking frankly, the continuous repetitive objections that have been forthcoming, often at the last minute, from the competing scheme have served to achieve nothing more than delaying valuable investment into Grantham and delaying the creation of jobs.
"The idea is to bring people to this area. They will visit the town and the amazing heritage we have.
"We care about Grantham and our neighbouring towns.We now need to get on with this regeneration and deliver the benefits."