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Is Costco plan for Interbrew site just a 'ghost' application?

By citizenmike  |  Posted: May 02, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

28256600

The former Interbrew site

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WHOLESALER giant Costco says it is not behind plans to open a new warehouse club at Eastern Avenue even though the plans are geared towards opening a new Costco.

City councillors will be asked to refuse the plans for the former Interbrew site on Tuesday.

The plans are for a 13,000 sq ft warehouse club, which sells items in bulk, primarily to businesses but offers individual memberships.

Costco operate differently to wholesalers such as Booker and Makro, which do not offer individual memberships.

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Planning officers admit there is ‘confusion’ because the application could not be for anything other than a Costco, yet the firm has confirmed it is not interested in coming to Gloucester.

Nicholas Deeks, director of international real estate at Costco, said: “We are not looking to open in Gloucester at the present time. We have been interested in Gloucester in the past but the city does not presently form part of our short to medium term expansion plans. I do hope that will change, but it will not in the foreseeable future.”

He added that he was ‘perplexed’ by the application since Costco are the only warehouse club operator in the UK. He also confirmed that Costco had not been approached by the developer before the plans were put in.

There are concerns that it could be a ‘ghost’ application to allow for other uses on the site that would not ordinarily have won permission. Aviva, landowners at King’s Square, have objected on this basis.

Arwel Evans, a planner representing Aviva, said: “Aviva are concerned about the impact such a proposal will have on the city centre both as proposed and in the future should the nature of the operation change in the future.”

The plans also include a 450 sq m restaurant. No occupier has been identified, but plans indicated it could be a drive-thru restaurant.

Planners fear the restaurant would take away potential trade from the city centre and the whole application has been recommended for refusal.

The site is currently in use by a distribution firm which employs around 100 people and there are no details on how or when that use would cease. The applicants say the warehouse club would create around 150 jobs and 20 for the restaurant. The site once employed more than 400 people.

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5 comments

  • dcfc79  |  May 02 2014, 4:03PM

    A costco would have been a good idea with the nearest 1 in Avonmouth.

    |   13
  • dcfc79  |  May 02 2014, 4:02PM

    Well nibnobs Ikea were rumoured to be opening up at the Peel Centre where the old cinema was, cant see it being another McDonalds/KFC/Costa/Starbucks, surely those on the planning committe would reject any applicatin for 1 of them.

    |   -1
  • NibNobs  |  May 02 2014, 1:44PM

    Well it surely won't be yet another bloomin' Morrisons! We got one being built on Barnwood Road less than a mile away from the huge new one off Metz Way, which is like a morgue on weekdays whilst people queue in their cars to get into Asda along the road. Surely not another large Tesco there as they haven't got any money now for big out of town stores. Another vacant site where we don't need another supermarket is the Royal Mail depot on Eastern Ave. How about an IKEA!

    |   8
  • JemmyWood  |  May 02 2014, 1:19PM

    Here we go.... Another 'dodgy deal' over development land in Gloucester... So what's it to be now? yet ANOTHER McDonalds/KFC/Costa/Starbucks/pound shop mega mart/Morrisons/Tesco/ASDA?

    |   5
  • honslknjklyt  |  May 02 2014, 12:19PM

    That is sad, I was under the impression from conversation I have with someone who is a Costco supplier that they were definitely coming to Gloucester. Of course she could have been wrong and it seems she was. I as a Costco member was very much looking forward to it, it is quite a distance to Avonmouth and think it would have been great for Gloucester.

    |   2

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