Darlington town centre’s retailers are being threatened by proposals for a new out of town outlet centre at Scotch Corner. Distinct Darlington, the Business Improvement District (BID) agency, formed to support businesses in the town centre, has objected to the new set of plans and has concerns over the impact this development would have on Darlington.
A previous planning application for this outlet centre was called in by the Secretary of State, meaning that he will determine whether or not the development should be approved, with this decision expected to be made during the summer of 2016. Despite the original objections, an amended set of plans will shortly go to the planning committee at Richmondshire District Council which have little to distinguish them from those previously submitted.
“Given the close proximity of this development to Darlington town centre, this would undoubtedly divert footfall away from Darlington town centre,” said Alex Hirst, manager of Distinct Darlington, “Outside of Darlington, a large number of our town centre visitors come from the North Yorkshire area. If this development were to be built in the Scotch Corner location it would have a negative impact on trade in Darlington and we are trying to do everything we can to protect our town centre.”
“We represent over 800 traders in the town centre, some of whom have voiced concerns over this development and the impact it will have on their business. We wholeheartedly back their concerns and would urge businesses to object, as we have, before Richmondshire District Council make a decision.”
The planning committee at Richmondshire District Council are planning to meet on Tuesday 1 December to decide on whether to approve this application and Distinct Darlington are encouraging businesses to object before this meeting. Alex Hirst added “we would be more than happy to talk to traders about how to object, businesses need to work together on this matter for the benefit of the whole town centre”.
For further information about Distinct Darlington visit www.distinctdarlington.co.uk