Large town centre store to become three new shops
- Credit: RICHARD CORNWELL
A town centre shop is to be split into three units - because it is claimed the demand for larger retail premises is "non-existent".
East Suffolk Council has granted permission for alterations to the shopfront to turn the former Dorothy Perkins and Burton store in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, into three retail units.
It stands almost opposite the large ex Marks and Spencer store, which has now been standing empty two and a half years.
Phil Cobbold Planning Ltd, representing applicants Medinapoint Investments Ltd, said: "Increased internet sales and the Covid epidemic have resulted in the closure of a large number of former High Street brands.
"As many restructure and focus solely on online sales, the demand for large retail premises in the high street is non-existent.
"The works proposed by this application will enable the ground floor to be divided into three smaller units which will be of greater interest and more affordable to a wider range of small local businesses.
"Subdivision to three units will potentially provide more local employment opportunities for full time and part time staff.The proposal will help to breathe new life into a vacant building, in accordance with the Government’s ‘Build Back Better High Streets’ strategy."
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Felixstowe Town Council recommended East Suffolk Council approve the project for the 300 sq m premises, and the district council's economic development team also backed the work.