Notcutt’s Site – the empty unit saga!

Some breaking news this morning for those of us concerned about the empty units by Waitrose …….. Notcutts, who own the site, have had their appeal to a those higher than Surrey Heath Borough Council, quashed. The understanding now is that the unit will have to be let as one as per the original plans which were passed. This is good news for the businesses in the village High Street as the plan was to put in several high profile chains. This is the conclusion paragraph of the report to be published

‘No sequentially preferable sites for the whole development have been identified and there is no information before me to support a negative effect on planned investment in the centres.

Nevertheless, the proposals would not be in accordance with an up to date Local Plan and would be likely to cause significant harm to the vitality and viability of Camberley and Bagshot Centre
For the above reasons, and having regard to all other matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.’

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Comments

  1. Finally a council, enforcing planning applications!

  2. Owen Glyn says:

    I would have liked a Pets at Home – no idea why it was turned down.

  3. Owen Glyn says:

    Why turn down Pets at Home, I would have liked it!

    • tinacarney says:

      Hi Owen, Pets at Home can come but they need to take the whole unit next to Waitrose. Planning permission was given to Notcutts who own the land, to develop the area by demolishing the existing Notcutts and building a brand new one with Waitrose attached. Planning permission was granted on the condition that it would just be two units of equal size. Notcutts then pulled out, but their side of the building was developed as 4 smaller separate units and not kept as one large one as per the plans. Surrey Heath Borough Council opposed this change of plan as it would in effect make a mini retail park on the edge of the village. Even when the developers who are working on behalf of Notcutts, took it to Appeal with the Home Secretary, the plan was quashed. The unit now has to be converted back to it intended size and Notcutts will need to find a new tenant. Hopefully it will be filled by someone like Homebase or The Range who offer a wide range of DIY and other goodies. We are all watching that space with interest. Kind regards Tina Carney

      • Peter Philip says:

        Homebase have had financial troubles and have been cutting back on stores so the chance of a new one is slim. The development as a whole is a very large unit which may turn out to be a challenge to let in the current climate. Is it really beneficial to have it sitting empty when there were businesses waiting to move in?
        While I understand the objections to a “mini retail park” I am not sure that at present any of the new businesses that were proposed would have taken business away from the village centre. You could argue that Longacres already offers a retail park experience but offers products that are not available in the village. The biggest impact on businesses in the village I believe is lack of marketing (and rents). I would hazard a guess that many of the people that currently shop in Waitrose have no idea what businesses are available in the village. In other countries it is not uncommon for billboards/signage to be located on freeways/by-passes advertising local businesses. In this country McDonalds for example are very good at this with adverts on bus shelters etc. telling you how far it is to the next restaurant. Something similar located near this site highlighting to the extra footfall what the village centre has to offer (shops/cafes/free parking) could potentially be far more beneficial than a large unit sitting empty for an extended period of time.

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