Go ahead for return of national retailer to key Blackpool shopping area

Plans to bring a branch of DIY chain Homebase back to the Fylde coast have been given the go ahead.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 10:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 1:51 pm

The scheme, which will see the retailer take over the former Argos Store and Pets at Home store on Blackpool Retail Park, has been approved by Blackpool Council planners using delegated powers.

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Fylde Council, in whose jurisdiction part of the retail park off Squires Gate Lane falls, has also approved a planning application enabling Pets at Home to relocate to the vacant Office Outlet unit on the same block.

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The former Argos store

A Homebase store has previously operated on the retail park and its return will include a garden centre located in what is currently a rear service yard.

Vehicular access in front of Homebase will become one-way, with highways chiefs saying the existing number of 628 parking spaces on the site will be sufficient to serve the new store.

There is also an application currently under consideration to extend the car park to provide 20 additional spaces.

Existing canopies above Pets at Home and the former Argos store would be removed, both entrances would be retained and refurbished but the main entrance would be through the former Argos building.

Pets at Home will relocate

This would be glazed in a similar design to other units in the same block.

A Blackpool Council report setting out the decision to approve the Homebase application says: "Economically, the proposal would facilitate bringing an empty retail unit (Unit C) back into use, generating employment opportunities, without impacting on the vitality and viability of the town centre hierarchy.

"On this basis, the proposal is considered to be economically sustainable."

Once development has been carried out it will mean all the units on the retail park are once more occupied. Other traders on the site include Currys, Aldi and TK Maxx.

When the scheme was first unveiled in April, developers said it "presented the opportunity for Pets at Home to relocate to Unit F and take the other remaining vacant unit at the retail park."

Other recent new development at the site has been the addition of a Costa Coffee drive-thru next to Halfords which opened last September.