Marks & Spencer’s Second Largest Store
In July 2008 and acting on behalf of Marks & Spencer and Simons Developments, HOW Planning successfully secured planning permission from Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council (now the new unitary Authority of Cheshire West and Chester), for a new 18,115 sq m store to be located at Cheshire Oaks in Ellesmere Port.
Due to the size of the project the scheme was called in by the Secretary of State. Following a call in inquiry the Secretary of State granted planning permission for what is the second largest Marks & Spencer’s store in the country. The decision was an important one in the context of the then national retail policy PPS4 - Planning for Prosperous Economies.
Whilst not in a town centre, the decision demonstrated one of the fundamental principles of good planning that the Development Plan is the starting point with other material considerations to be weighed in the balance.
Plans incorporated a fully sustainable store encompassing a range of low energy initiatives and renewable energy measures to meet Marks & Spencer’s aspiration to be carbon neutral. The store was a major investment for Marks & Spencer in Ellesmere Port and one of their biggest projects to date, second only in retail floorspace to its flagship store at Marble Arch in London.