Plans submitted for The Range to take over Sunderland Homebase building

Homebase, Silksworth, is scheduled to close in September 2014.
Homebase, Silksworth, is scheduled to close in September 2014.
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A DIY superstore due to close on Wearside could be transformed into another retail business.

The Echo reported last week that Homebase in Silksworth Lane, next to Sainsbury’s, will close by September.

About 30 jobs are set to be affected, with bosses saying they will look to move staff to neighbouring stores or sister chain Argos.

Silksworth ward councillor Phil Tye described the decision to close the Homebase store as “a massive blow” for people in the area, and said he hoped another firm could be found to take over the building.

GR Planning Consultancy, based in Devon, has now submitted plans which could see the store occupied by The Range, a chain which sells home, garden and leisure items as well as books, magazines and camping equipment.

Part of the application, which requests a variation of condition, states: “No new retail space is proposed. The Range will simply reuse the existing Homebase area to largely sell the same range of goods.

“The proposed variation sought is minor.

“The character of the permitted retail use as a “bulky” retail warehouse will remain unchanged, and the proposal will only relate to 11.9 per cent of the existing Homebase.”

The Range has 85 stores inthe UK but is looking to open a further 25 this year. A consultation over the plans ends on June 16.