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Approval expected for Cardigan Home Bargains plans

PLANS to build a Home Bargains discount store in the centre of Cardigan, with the promise of 100 new jobs, are expected to get the go-ahead from county planners next week.

Ceredigion County Council’s Development Management Committee, meeting on May 10, is recommended to approve an application by T J Morris Ltd to build the discount retail store at Bath House Road.

A report for members says the national discount retail chain would create up to 100 full time and part-time jobs in Cardigan and will create £6 million of investment in the private sector; the nearest other Home Bargains store is some 22 miles away in Carmarthen.

Home Bargains has become one of the biggest privately-owned companies in the UK and currently employs over 22,000 members of staff. It is also one of the UK’s fastest growing discount retailers. The business currently has more than 550 stores throughout the UK and plans to expand to over 1,000 stores employing over 40,000 staff.

The company operates within the discount, or value, retail sector and provides a mix of goods ranging from health and beauty products, medicines, baby products, household products, toys and games, pet food, home furnishings and ornaments, seasonal products, ancillary food and drink products and limited clothing range.

The application has previously proved contentious locally, with some town councillors vehemently opposing it, one saying it would result in money “going out of the town to England,” while others have supported it.

The application – supported by Cardigan Town Council – seeks full planning permission for the erection of a single-storey retail unit along with access and servicing arrangements, a 182-space car park, landscaping and associated works.

The proposal would include the loss of willow trees located at the western part of the site, and to mitigate this loss, 10 new specimen individual trees and 40 native shelter belt tree planting is proposed around the site.

One objection has been received, focusing on noise, traffic and pollution. Concerns were also raised regarding security and impact on businesses selling similar items within the town.

A retail impact assessment states the proposal “is unlikely to have a major adverse impact on the long-term vitality of Cardigan town centre, due to its proximity to the town centre boundary with high possibility of linked trips – both vehicular and pedestrian – between the development site and other uses within the town centre”.

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It adds: “Instead it is likely that a substantial proportion of the proposal’s turnover will be derived from expenditure that is currently being directed to facilities further afield.”

The report for members adds the proposal “would positively contribute to the vitality of the town centre as a result of more locally generated expenditure being retained and the potential for linked trips to take place”.