The development forms part of plans to enhance the 65,000 sq. ft retail park which lies to the South of the town centre just off the Markham Road and Park Road junction. The Harris Partnership has provided the designs and is responsible for bringing forward the refurbishment project for the park’s owner, Land Securities. Current operators include Currys, Next and Pets at Home.
Debenhams will operate from a new 32,000 sq. ft unit which is currently being constructed. An adjacent unit of 4,000 sq. ft is also being developed with several potential operators already showing interest in taking the space. Other enhancements include improving pedestrian access from Markham Road, increasing the number of footpaths running through the scheme to accommodate cyclists, and increasing the number of disabled car parking spaces without impacting on the availability of traditional spaces.
Paul Welch of The Harris Partnership comments: “The addition of a household name like Debenhams is great news for the retail park which is bound to see its visitor levels increase significantly. The design treatment incorporates both brickwork and cladding panels so that while these new units will blend effortlessly with the existing stores, they are also able to reflect the distinct identity of the new operators.
“The project has so far presented some significant challenges including a large sewerage diversion. As the scheme sits on the edge of a flood risk area, the new units have had to be repositioned to allow for this.”
It is anticipated that the Debenhams store will be open for trading in the late Autumn of 2012.