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Home Bargains withdraws plans for Narrow Boat

Plans for a Home Bargains at the former Narrow Boat site on London Road appear to have been shelved, for the time being at least.

The discount chain had applied to demolish the Narrow Boat pub and replace it with a modern retail outlet. Those plans have now been withdrawn.

Initially it appeared the chain was coy about linking itself to the site when the planning application was first submitted, but a few months later representatives revealed that, subject to planning, Home Bargains would occupy the unit on a minimum 10-year lease.

The document went on to explain that Home Bargains operate a finely tuned business model, which places operational requirements on their store locations, scale, format and sale of goods in particular. In simple terms, Home Bargains are not actively pursuing further ‘traditional’ town centre stores as they do not meet operational requirements.

At the time of initial planning application, both the Kennet Centre and Park Way objected to the proposals.

Sarah Stevens from CBRE who represents the owners of the Kennet Centre, said in July: "We have fundamental concerns with the sequential and retail impact assessment which has been undertaken on behalf of the applicant, particularly the assumptions which have been made about the Kennet Centre."

We have had no response to requests for reasoning behind the withdrawal of the application, which if granted, would have created around 30 full and part time jobs.

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