Retail park revamp gets the green light

An arist's impression of how the Costa Coffee could look
An arist's impression of how the Costa Coffee could look

A REVAMP of the popular Robin Park retail area has cleared its first planning hurdle with work likely to start early in 2016.

Plans for a drive-through coffee unit plus three new shopping outlets appeared to have been delayed following a consultation period in September.

But town hall officers signalled the green light last week, raising hopes the development could be in place in a matter of months.

Design documents show the coffee shop to have Costa branding although the firm is yet to confirm they will be taking ownership of the facility.

And the approval documents, released late last month, do not reveal which businesses will be taking up other the units.

Although the Evening Post understands that one of the retail units is likely to be a Subway. The town hall’s approval is subject to several conditions which include a scheme to mitigate the impact of “cooking fumes and odours.”

The new units will be placed on a section of car park close to Burger King and Carphone Warehouse, adjacent to the entrance to the retail park from Robin Park Road.

The planning approval notice states no objections were raised as part of the neighbourhood consultation process.

Despite the planning documents showing Costa signage, the company has remained tight-lipped about any potential plans.

In July, a statement from the firm said: “We are currently evaluating drive-thru opportunities in the Wigan area, but have no firm plans in place at this stage.

“We work closely with planning departments across the country to open new stores for the benefit of their local communities, creating new jobs and providing attractive and popular social meeting places.”

The delay in making a decision on the plans was due to the “initial design being unacceptable due to effect on existing landscaped areas.” But the revised plans were deemed to have solved these problems.

Given that the neighbouring Asda supermarket car park and DW Stadium area suffered from flooding last week, planning officers have also called on the developers to take steps to ensure surface water does not impact on nearby properties.

The documents state: “It will be the developer’s responsibility to ensure there will not be any overland surface water flooding from the developable site onto existing adjacent properties or new adjacent land onto the newly developed site.”

The four new units will be housed in two one-storey buildings with 10 parking spaces, including two disabled spaces, with five cycle stands and 10 cycle spaces.

There will also be a outdoor seating area with landscaping surrounding the site.