Thumbs down for charity store plan

Helen Barrett

Plans to open an out-of-town charity department store in the Midlands have been delayed after councillors rejected a planning application because they feared town centre trade would be threatened by the operation.

Compton Hospice applied to Telford and Wrekin Borough Council last month to convert an 8,500 square foot former car showroom in Stafford Park retail park into a fundraising department store. But the council turned the plan down last week, claiming the store would be "detrimental to the vitality and viability of the existing retail hierarchy". It added that duplication of trade and a lack of transport links to the site were among the reasons for its decision.

"It seems as if every policy has been thrown at us as to stop us going ahead," said Sue Chance, retail manager at the hospice.

The hospice planned to stock home and garden furniture, electrical goods, giftware, clothes and toys.

Staff are now looking for alternative local premises.

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