Plans to fill B&Q unit approved and could see new retailer move in

High street DIY chain B&Q
High street DIY chain B&Q

Plans to convert a unit on a retail park have been given the green light by councillors, with a new national retailer set to move in.

The B&Q unit at Durham City Retail Park had been half empty since 2015, when it was divided to allow part of it to be transformed into a Morrisons supermarket.

After Morrisons decided not to open at the unit, further plans for Go Outdoors to use the space fell through after the chain was bought by JD Sports.

Durham County Council’s area planning committee nodded through the latest set of plans for the site by applicant Aviva Investors.

This includes creating a 1,672 sq m mezzanine balcony floor in the unit for a currently unnamed “national homewares and furniture goods retailer”, a report states.

It adds: “The proposed mezzanine application follows the requirements of an identified furniture and predominantly bulky goods retailer, and will provide the appropriate unit layout and floor space, and in accordance with the operator requirements.”

The proposed retailer needs a total of 3,586 sq m to operate at the unit, including the new mezzanine floor.

A planning report, presented to the committee at Durham County Hall, claimed the re-occupation would provide retail jobs and help “enhance the character and appearance of the area.”

While officers identified a minor increase in parking demand, they concluded it would not create a “severe impact” in the area.