B&M given the green light to open first High Peak store

The new store will be sited opposite Tesco in Whaley Bridge.
The new store will be sited opposite Tesco in Whaley Bridge.

Discount retailer B&M is to open its first High Peak store in Whaley Bridge, after councillors voted in favour of the new development.

The company will occupy a new retail unit adjacent to Tesco at Bridgemont, Whaley Bridge, in a move which will create 26 equivalent full-time jobs.

Members of High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee gave the plans their full support at a meeting on Monday.

Cllr Samantha Flower said: “I am really pleased with this proposal. We need more retail shops in the area and this development will create jobs which will be good for the town.”

The proposed retail unit, which would be reached from the existing access off Buxton Road, will provide 2,231 square metres of retail floor space. There will also be 103 car parking spaces, alongside landscaping and a new boundary fence.

Amended plans show the garden centre at the rear of the building was removed due to flooding concerns.

Cllr Stuart Young expressed his approval that the plans has been changed, moving the car park from the rear of the unit to the front.

A council officer’s report to the meeting stated: “The development of the site would bring forward an economic use of the land, which has had planning consent for many years.”

A late letter of objection was sent to the council and read out at the meeting in which a Whaley Bridge resident said: “A budget store like B&M would further lower the tone of the area.”

The new store would have cream-coloured cladding and a grey roof.

Speaking of the future design and layout, Cllr Graham Oakley said: “It was always going to be the case that it looked boring and ugly, but I can’t object to the plans.”

Both councillors Emily Thrane and Daren Robins raised concerns about the bulky goods, and asked whether restrictions would be imposed on B&M so that the HGV drivers coming from either Manchester or Macclesfield use the bypass rather than driving through the towns.

Chairman of the meeting, Cllr Dave Lomax, said this would be difficult to police.

Cllr Lance Dowson gave his support to the project, adding: “I see no reason why we should turn this down.”
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the development.