MARKS & Spencer plans to open a store in Alnwick as part of a larger development which could create over 90 jobs.

Northumberland County Council’s Strategic Planning Committee will consider the proposals – for land south west of Willowburn Avenue – on June 5.

A planning application for around 3,300 sq ms of retail floorspace, a drive-through coffee-shop and 226 parking spaces was submitted by national planning and development consultancy Lichfields, on behalf of Northumberland Estates, in December last year.

Public consultation undertaken in 2017 was very positive with 76% of respondents agreeing the need for a broader range and choice of shopping in Alnwick and 63% in favour of the proposals.

Colin Barnes, of Northumberland Estates, said: “We are delighted to announce that M&S have confirmed their intention to take a unit at this scheme, subject to Northumberland County Council granting planning permission.

“The new Foodhall will be a great addition to the existing range of supermarkets serving Alnwick and the surrounding area.”

The nearest M&S Foodhall to Alnwick is currently situated in the company’s store at the Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth.

Jonathan Wallace, Senior Director and head of Lichfields’ Newcastle office, said: “The new store at Willowburn Avenue would reduce the need for residents to travel to this and other M&S stores, including on Tyneside. It will also complement the existing foodstore provision within Alnwick itself.”

The development is earmarked for land owned by the Northumberland Estates, near to the Arcinova pharmaceuticals business and adjacent to the A1.

The new M&S Foodhall would be situated adjacent to Willowburn Avenue and comprise around 1,100 sq ms floorspace.

It would sell a range of Marks & Spencer branded food produce, as well as ancillary non-food goods, including; flowers, plants, stationery and cards.

The new Foodhall would create around 30 full time equivalent jobs. If planning permission is granted then construction should start later this year, with Lichfields saying the development has the potential to create around 90 jobs.