Planning officers recommend approval for £125 million Downtown designer outlet on edge of Grantham
Plans for a £125m designer outlet centre at Oldrids & Downtown’s superstore on the edge of Grantham, which could create more than 1,700 jobs, have been recommended for approval.
The plans go before South Kesteven District Council’s planning committee on Tuesday, February 5.
If approved, the site surrounding the existing Downtown store will be redeveloped with a raft of new facilities, including a new 220,425 sq ft designer outlet centre. Designed to attract premium brands and with space for 107 new shops, the outlet centre will be delivered in partnership with Freeport Retail, one of Europe’s leading developers and operators of designer outlet centres.
The proposals also include a new ‘Downtown at Home’ store, an indoor leisure unit, a new tourist information and visitor centre, and the redevelopment of the existing garden centre to create a new and more modern environment. The retail and leisure facilities will be complemented by space for new and growing businesses, including a high-tech hub and incubator start-up offices.
In addition, the scheme includes the construction of a new training academy, delivered in partnership with Grantham College.
Oldrids & Downtown submitted its planning application following a public consultation, which revealed overwhelming support for the plans with more than 98 per cent of respondents supporting the scheme.
The company says its proposals include significant commitments to the local area, including improvements to transport infrastructure, road signage, public transport, town centre facilities, car park signage, tourism, education and training.
Richard Broadhead, Managing Director of Oldrids & Downtown said: “We are pleased that our planning application is scheduled to be heard by South Kesteven District Council and are delighted that the planning officer is recommending approval. We are not taking anything for granted, but believe our plans are absolutely the right thing for Grantham and the wider region.
“With a history spanning more than 200 years in Lincolnshire and having successfully traded in Grantham for 30 years, we want to make another significant investment in the area. This will radically enhance the existing retail offer, delivering major economic benefits for Lincolnshire and lots of job opportunities for local people.
“The level of support from both the public and the business community has been extremely encouraging, reflecting the desire for a new shopping and leisure destination comprising world-famous brands and high-quality facilities, which can attract more visitors to the area. We’re very grateful for such overwhelming support.
“A huge amount of work has gone into preparing this planning application and receiving approval would be great news for Grantham and great news for Lincolnshire.”
Iestyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Freeport Retail added: “The Downtown site is the perfect location for a premium outlet centre and has the potential to deliver major benefits to Grantham as well as the wider area.
“With more than two decades of experience in developing, owning and operating designer outlet centres, we are ideally placed to partner with Oldrids & Downtown to bring this exciting new scheme to the area.”