War of the retail parks set for March as second proposal is announced- and within a mile of the first!

March retail village. Updated.

March retail village. Updated. - Credit: Archant

Battles lines are drawn after a developer unveiled an out of town retail village- a month after a rival offered a similar scheme a mile further along the A141.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Picture: Steve Williams.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Battles lines are drawn after a developer unveiled an out of town retail village- a month after a rival offered a similar scheme a mile further along the A141.

Bruce Smith wants to create a retail village on the site once proposed for the College of West Anglia.

It comes after a rival scheme was revealed on land at Westry opposite the Hostmoor Avenue turning.

Mr Smith is working with landowners Cannon Kirk to create a retail village similar to Springfields in Spalding.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Planning consultant, Karen Crowder-JamesPicture: Steve Williams.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Planning consultant, Karen Crowder-JamesPicture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


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He said: “I envisage little streets lined with outlets that complement the town centre rather than rival it.”

Around 12 of the 200 acre site, which was originally earmarked for the relocation of COWA Isle Campus, will be given over to shops.

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A 50 to 60 acre countryside park will connect to West End Park to provide a riverside walk to the town centre.

A marina opposite the Fox’s Boatyard will be included and the town’s scouts and guides will get a new campsite.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Picture: Steve Williams.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

“I want a whole package for the town,” said Mr Smith. “I want it to be a real asset that will bring people into March and provide not only an area for shopping but also for recreation.

“I want it to have the character and feel of a village with small, pedestrianised streets. There will be a family pub overlooking the river. Whatever we provide I want to be in harmony with the town and I am open to suggestions from anybody.”

He plans a public exhibition next month.

“In an ideal world we would like to have the project completed within the next two or three years,” said Mr Smith, who believes his site is the best suited to such a development because of its location.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Picture: Steve Williams.

Westry Retail Park Exhibition.Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Last month developer Brossman Mills staged a public exhibition for their plans for a 75,000 sq ft retail park on the outskirts of March at Westry which will include a new roundabout at the Hostmoor Avenue junction.

Their aim is to create a retail park with national chains occupying units.

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