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Will Home Bargains get a new Gloucester store?

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: January 28, 2014

Home Bargains wants to open a store at the Peel Centre

Comments (12)

HOME Bargains’ third attempt at getting a Gloucester store rests in the hands of councillors at odds with planning professionals over its effect on the city centre.

Gloucester City Council planning officers believe the application to allow food, drink, toys, perfumes and toiletries to be sold at a Peel Centre site should be turned down because the applicant hasn’t shown why other sites in the city centre are not more suitable.

But some members, and city council leader Paul James believe the thrift store retailer would not affect the city centre, including the long-awaited King’s Quarter redevelopment of King’s Square and the bus station.

“Home Bargains coming to the Peel Centre is not going to make a jot of difference to King’s Quarter,” he said. “It’s not the kind of retailer going there.

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“But there is a need to stop unrestricted retail allocations as we have done, because we want to see King’s Quarter happen.”

That project hinges on funding coming forward for a new bus station, and striking a deal with King’s Square landowners Aviva, so Stanhope can work up a King’s Quarter scheme.

When it is built, councillors want to see higher end stores than Home Bargains there.

When the planning committee put the decision for a Home Bargains store on hold at its January meeting, member Lise Noakes (C, Barnwood) said she had Miss Selfridge in mind, and she and Gerald Dee (C, Tuffley) wanted the application to be given the go-ahead.

But Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wotton) feared it could see the city centre’s focus shift south to the docks.

A revised report drawn up by city council planning officers recommends refusal but unusually they have taken the step of recommending conditions if members ignore their advice and give it the go-ahead.

It could get temporary or personal permission but officers say it could be hard to enforce.

Home Bargains has tried twice to get permission for stores in Eastern Avenue and Canada Wharf and the firm believes the former M&S store in Northgate Street isn’t suitable. The Peel Centre site, in two stores between Gala Bingo and Hobbycraft, is more suitable it says, because it is nearer the city centre.

Planning officer Adam Smith says permission shouldn’t be granted as the site is outside the city centre and another store could come in and take Home Bargains’ place.

“It is also advised that members carefully consider the implications of any resolution on the status and availability of sites such as the former M&S unit or King’s Quarter,” he said.

Peel declined to comment on the matter, which will be debated at the next city council planning committee meeting on February 4.

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  • jas37  |  February 02 2014, 8:34PM

    bonzaharris, you don't appear to have read the article properly. The Council Planning Officers are suggesting that Peel's application for change of use (at the Peel centre, not the Quays) should be refused as they judge it may have detrimental effect on the City centre. You appear to have got everything back to front. Who are the "they" that you keep referring too?

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  • bonzaharris1  |  January 31 2014, 12:26PM

    Sorry Bobmartin, now I have re-read it, it makes sense, evidently too late at night for my tired eyes, after a glass of red wine !! Jas37, the Quays attract more visitors because they concentrate on holding more events there to attract visitors. there seems to be very little going on in the City centre because they do very little to organise events to attract people there, so the Cathedral will miss out. I have read the article above, and it seems to me that they think that Home Bargains is to low class and will attract the wrong sort of people to the Quays, they would rather have them in the City centre away from their show boat, that makes sense to me. I don't know why it bothers you so much unless you are a Councillor ?? That is all I have to say on the subject, I am not going around in circles over it, life's too short

  • Bobmartin247  |  January 30 2014, 11:49PM

    Bonzaharris1 I was not referring to you as being snobbish. I was agreeing with you and my point was being made at the councillors.

  • jas37  |  January 30 2014, 10:26PM

    bonzaharris, your comments don't make any sense at all. Have you actually read the report? And the Cathedral may be one of the County's biggest tourist attractions but the Council's Public survey results revealed that the Quays/Docks attracts far more visitors to Gloucester than the Cathedral does.

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  • bonzaharris1  |  January 28 2014, 10:56PM

    Sorry Bobmartin247, where am I being snobbish, I have no problem with Home Bargains being opened in Gloucester, far from it I happily shop in the 99p stores for a bargain and Home Bargains always get a visit from me when I go to Stroud. perhaps you should read my post properly. Jas37, I am surprised I need to answer you, read the article, like the bit I highlighted where it says that Councillors want to see higher end stores there. They also say that Home Bargains have not shown why other sites in the City centre are not more suitable, is that because they feel Home Bargains would lower the tone in the Peel Centre? Paul James also says "its not the kind of retailer going there" So it seems to me that they think Home Bargains is not good enough for the Peel Centre. Last time I went to Gloucester you had beggars outside shops and the hordes of teenagers outside Debenhams, I don't know if that has changed but it seems to me that the Councillors have decided rather than resolve the problem, they prefer to develop from the City centre, concentrating on "high end" shops. Pity really because one of Gloucestershire's biggest tourist attractions is in the City centre ... Gloucester Cathedral.

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  • Bobmartin247  |  January 28 2014, 10:28PM

    Dear city councillors, please please take a long hard look at yourselves why is Cheltenham taking more of a look of a county town than Gloucester? Surely you need to get grip and put your efforts into making Gloucester somewhere you can be proud of and not hold your head in shame!!!! Now don't try to be snobbish like Bonzaharris1 said we all do it these days, some out of necessity. You ok'd the CD and Toast rack in the bedsit quarter (oh sorry the traffic/ pedestrian share area) so what has Home Bargains done to offend you? I'd rather have a shop occupied than empty! I believe that the state of the centre is what's putting bigger named stores off of coming to Gloucester so I think that until you Mr councillor do something about the city centre then the shops will possibly stay empty or unless you try and make stores go into places they don't want to go into, then they won't stay!! Oh and if you do have a city centre manager give him a big kick up the bottom as he ain't doing his job properly as he should be listening to the public and asking them what they want and then acting on it.

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  • jas37  |  January 28 2014, 10:12PM

    bonzaharris1, can you explain to the rest of us how the Council has abandoned the City Centre in favour of an Out of Town Shopping Centre? Do you know something that everyone else doesn't?

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  • Richardburton  |  January 28 2014, 7:10PM

    The more shops we have the better we need shops so people can get jobs and at this moment in time a job is a job! Stop thinking about what councillors want and start thinking what the people of Gloucester need... choices and paid jobs.

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  • thestig2  |  January 28 2014, 6:47PM

    people are going to shop at home bargains wherever they get to open in the end. money talks, not just in council pockets but shoppers who want there pennies worth lol.

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  • Kay_Powell  |  January 28 2014, 6:36PM

    So, Home Bargains had their application turned down because they had failed to show that other sites were not more suitable. Will the council be applying that strict criterion to the application for a riding arena in St. James' Park? No, I thought not.

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