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New Wickes store gets approved in Haverhill

ONE of the gateways into Haverhill is set for a transformation — and 250 jobs — after plans were approved to turn a derelict factory site into a new retail park.

St Edmundsbury Council’s development control committee last Thursday approved HPG Development’s plans for the old Workspace Office Solutions (formerly Project) site in Hamlet Green, which has stood empty since early 2007.

The developer now has permission to turn the site into 11 business start-up units, nine warehouses, three retail units for bulky goods, a Wickes builders merchants and a drive-thru McDonalds, six months after the council rejected HPG’s initial plans for fear it would detrimentally impact on Haverhill town centre retailers.

However, after the number of retail units was scaled down from four to three, and a commitment made to only supply bulky goods, it got the green light.

Addressing the committee, Joanna Jones, on behalf of HPG, said the scheme represented a £12 million investment that included a £250,000 contribution to the improvement of the town centre and the chance to create more than 250 new jobs.

Cllr Anne Gower, who represents Haverhill at borough level, told the committee: “In my opinion this application, together with the development of Hamlet Road, plus the Atterton & Ellis site (which has permission to be changed into residential housing) would actually link the site in question to the town centre very neatly and offer a more aesthetic appeal to the whole area.”

Source : Haverhill Echo

05 May 2011
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