Plans for a flagship store at Cheshire Oaks led to representations by a regeneration body responsible for Chester city centre.
The contemporary design store for Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet involves 100 jobs, 50 of which will be new.
Chester Renaissance chairman Eric Langton told borough planners his board supported the jobs the development would bring to Cheshire West and Chester ‘and is keen to support the people into employment as it has done with other developments locally’. But he added: “However the Renaissance board would not support unfettered expansion of Cheshire Oaks which could impact on retail in Chester city centre and other town centres across the borough.” He pointed out a second application, which had been withdrawn, proposed ‘significant new growth’ at Cheshire Oaks including decked parking and argued approval of the new store should not create a precedent.
Mr Langton concluded: “As a board we are keen that Chester has a vibrant and successful retail offer that works alongside Cheshire Oaks and are keen to have a closer relationship working together to promote the borough.” The new build at the designer Ralph Lauren Outlet UK complex will have 14,000sq ft of sales space and lead to the loss of 28 parking spaces according to a report. It will be ‘significantly higher’ than single-storey retail outlets in the village and will occupy the site of the seasonal Christmas tree.
Architects suggested the design is ‘loosely based’ on a Cheshire countryside barn and will use quality materials. Gables will reflect the architecture of the outlet village.
Ellesmere Port Development Board chairman Robert Mee said: “As a major local employer and a visitor destination of regional significance, the board welcomes the proposed investment into Ellesmere Port and the economic benefits this brings. The board is keen to continue a positive relationship with Cheshire Oaks to ensure local employment opportunities are maximised.”
There were no objections from the town centre manager.
The retailer, which at present has two units in the Polo Ralph Lauren Shirts outlet village, said it wished to occupy a single larger unit due to increased demand and to improve the offer to customers. It also wanted to remain close to other high end designer fashion retailers in the complex.
Recommending the application should be approved planners said that there would be no significant effect on local roads and parking. Permission was subject to a £50,000 contribution to green improvements along Stanney Lane.