A new retail development - which could create up to 400 new jobs in Skegness - has been described as a ‘win win’ development for the town.
The development, on the site of Skegness Town Football Club’s ground at Burgh Road, will feature an Aldi supermarket and other national retail outlets.
Aldi and Pets At Home are already fully committed to the project, along with Marston’s Brewery who will build a new pub and restaurant complex.
The entire development - which will also include 223 parking spaces - received the unanimous backing of East Lindsey District Council’s (ELDC’s) planning committee on Thursday.
As part of the deal, the football club will move to a new site off Wainfleet Road which, planners were told, will provide enhanced sporting facilities for the entire town.
The move comes after an objection from Sport England which said they had concerns about the loss of the Burgh Road site.
It also emerged that Morrisons, which already operate a supermarket in the town, had objected to the retail development.
However, planning committee members heard the development has been backed by a near 400-strong petition signed by residents.
In addition, ELDC had received 86 letters of support, stating the development would:
l Enhance the town of Skegness
l Transform the existing site, described as ‘an eyesore’
l Provide much-needed and improved shopping facilities in the Burgh Road area
l Create jobs
l Benefit the football club
l Add competition to existing supermarkets
l Boost year-round trading
l Help stop shoppers travelling to other towns
l Provide a good quality, value for money eating pace
l Good access to major roads
l Little noise nuisance to local residents
Ben Ellis, a director of Skegness based developers Quora Limited, said 98 per cent of people asked about the scheme had backed it - the company’s highest-ever return.
He said up to 200 jobs would be created during the construction phase - and another 200 once the development is fully operational, possibly in 12 months.
He dismissed the objection from Sport England, saying the Wainfleet Road site would provide better facilities for football and rugby union.
Planning committee chairman Coun Neil Cooper said the overall gains for the town were ‘significant’ and added: “I would say that this is win, win for Skegness.”
Coun David Edgington, said he was not surprised Morrisons had objected. He said retailers like Aldi were ‘on
the up’ and established supermarkets like Morrisons were ‘paying the price for complacency’.
Ward councillor Mark Anderson was not at the meeting but submitted a letter supporting the development.
He said: “I believe this development would add value to Skegness by providing more choice and more shopping.”
Coun Edward Mossop did raise concerns about noise levels but was assured by planning officer Chris Panton that conditions would be put in place before work was allowed to start.
The conditions would outline opening hours and limit deliveries to specific times. A special noise installation fence could also be built to protect residents living in Thompson Close.
The committee was also told the development was backed by Skegness Town Council.