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Next move blocked

By Bob Geddes
Dumfries and West
Next move blocked

A BID by retail giant Next to move from Dumfries town centre to the Cuckoo Bridge retail park was today thrown out by councillors.

Members of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning applications committee rejected the move which had been strongly opposed by town centre shops, organisations and businesses.
And campaigners have applauded councillors for protecting the high street.
Mark Smith, vice chairman of Dumfries Retailers Association, said: “The key factor to this move being rejected is that the council have sent out a clear message of policy in relation to out of town shopping, and that they stand by the town centre and appreciate that it is the cultural heartland of Dumfries.
The meeting in English Street had heard that the turnover of the current Next store, located in the Loreburne Centre, had fallen by 40 per cent since it opened in 2008 and the applicants for the change, property firm NewRiver, said this rate could not be sustained.
In a statement to the committee, NewRiver claimed 39 jobs would be created in a move to Cuckoo Bridge and said: “Additional floorspace is required in a location and of a configuration that meets the changing needs of Next.”
However, planning officer Andrew Robinson concluded that the bid to move went against local policy and councillors agreed with his findings.


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