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Wirksworth store’s extension plans approved

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Plans for a new–look extended store have been given the nod by planning chiefs.

The Cooperative store, in Harrison Drive, Wirksworth, is to undergo an extensive refurbishment after a planning application was approved by members of Derbyshire Dales District Council.

The new–look store will see it refurbished and extended, with the addition of Post Office services within the building, ensuring that the services are not lost when the existing Post Office branch in the town closes.

Birmingham–based Brooke Smith Planning acted for Central England Co–operative Limited, working with Latham Architects, to secure the permission.

Beth Mullan, senior planner at Brooke Smith Planning, said: “The scheme represents an efficient use of previously developed land, whilst presenting a sensitive treatment of the site given its conservation area status.

“The approved development provides the opportunity to deliver an additional retail offer to complement that already found within Wirksworth.”

The existing petrol station will be retained and a new entrance created to include trolly storage, a stock room and the Post Office section of the building.

The work will create an 837 square metre retail unit and refurbishment and recladding work will create a more uniform facade to the building.

There will be a slight reduction of the existing car parking spaces, however a further 25 spaces will be created for staff and customers.

There will also be two disabled bays close to the store entrance.

The plans include a dedicated shelter for cycle storage and enhanced pedestrian links to Harrison Drive.

The store will operate from 7am to 10pm seven days a week and the number of full and part time employees are expected to increase from 18 to 27.

An officer for Derbyshire Dales District Council commenting on the application said: “Whilst there is some concern that the Coop in its extended form may have an impact on the viability of the town centre, it has been identified that Wirksworth secures only a tiny amount of the market share for main food shopping from the wider Matlock/Wirksworth catchment and that this has fallen since the arrival of Sainsbury’s in Matlock.

“In this respect, rather than see the proposal as a threat to the viability of the town, it is considered that the development would help support the town, to prevent leakage of trade from it and encourage visitors to it.”

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