Transport case helps Marks & Spencer secure unanimous approval

A unanimous vote in favour by Maidstone Borough Council will see a new Marks & Spencer store built at Eclipse Park, near junction 7 of the M20.

Gallagher Properties will create a new store with 7,808m2 of floorspace selling clothing, household goods and food, plus a cafe.

DHA’s transport team worked on the project, providing a transport assessment, travel plan and highway design report which will result in improvements to the A249 Bearsted Road/Eclipse Park signal junction.

Work on the store is expected to get under way towards the end of 2018, and when open in 2019 it will provide 300 full and part-time jobs.

The work undertaken by DHA’s transport team helped secure a recommendation for approval from Maidstone Council’s planning officers for the two-storey building and no objection from KCC Highways and Highways England.

Paul Lulham, director of DHA, said: “The work by our team showed that with the opening of the new M&S store there would be only a negligible net impact relative to when the site was at full capacity as part of the Maidstone Park & Ride network.”

Nick Yandle of Gallagher Properties added: “Throughout the whole process we have had overwhelming support from the local community which culminated in the  unanimous vote and reinforces Eclipse Park’s importance to the Maidstone economy.

“Highways is a critical aspect of all planning applications these days and we are particularly grateful for the advice and technical reports provided by DHA in helping us make the case for such an exciting opportunity.”

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