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Opus North to develop new B&M store in Cumbria

Opus Land North (Cockermouth) Ltd, part of property company Opus North, wants to build a B&M Homestore on Low Road, Cockermouth. B&M already has Cumbrian branches in Workington, Whitehaven, Carlisle, Penrith and Wigton.

A spokesman for the retailer said: “We’re always looking at sites for new stores and would welcome the opportunity to invest in the region. “As a growing business with more than 560 stores nationwide we are always looking to expand further; providing great value products and world class service to even more customers every week as well as playing an integral part in the local community.”

The store is planned on the site of a former timber yard and saw mill, behind Lakes Home Centre. Opus has submitted plans to Allerdale council for a 2,740 sq m shop with external garden centre. The firm wants permission to stock non-food retail items. Previous plans for a foodstore and a non-food retails development on the site were turned down by Allerdale council’s development panel in 2016 amid concerns that industrial employment land would be lost. The new plans, which do not include a foodstore, would see a 921 sq m separate unit built alongside the store for separate business, general industrial or storage and distribution use. The application follows a presentation to members of Allerdale council’s development panel in November. Documents submitted as part of the planning application estimate that the development would divert £0.88m of trade from the town centre.

The application said: “Cockermouth town centre is a vital and viable town centre. We do not consider the levels of trading impact identified above would give rise to concerns regarding the future vitality and viability of the town centre.”

Last week bosses at the Lakes Home Centre revealed they had applied to expand the range of goods it sells to allow it to compete with the proposed development, which was mooted late last year.

Managing director Patrick Lister said: “Now we have the thought of a B&M Home Store and garden centre coming next door, doing exactly what we do, we think it’s only fair we should be able to have a more level playing field.”

He added that it had not yet been decided what additional goods would be stocked at the store, which employs about 60 people, but it had been agreed with the council that it would not be more than 30 per cent food.

BM Home Store

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