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Home Bargains could take over Whitfield's former Homebase store on Honeywood Parkway

By Charlie Harman

A former Homebase store could be transformed by a national homeware company.

The Honeywood Parkway site in Whitfield has been unused since the furniture and garden giant closed the store in October 2017, but a new planning application could see the large building brought back into use.

Lodged by TJ Morris, which trades under the name Home Bargains, the application requests the addition of forklift stores, a sprinkler tank and new cladding.

Whitfield's former Homebase could be transformed by Home Bargains' arrival
Whitfield's former Homebase could be transformed by Home Bargains' arrival

Parking provision will also be revised if the overhaul is given a green light by Dover District Council.

The planning application states: "The external alterations and site layout reconfiguration will ensure that a vacant retail unit can be brought back into beneficial use.

"The proposals seek to create an attractive retail unit, to be occupied by Home Bargains, which better reflects the requirements of modern retailers and customers alike.

"In doing so, the proposed development will deliver several significant benefits to the local economy and residents of Dover, including job creation and increased customer choice."

Discount retailer Home Bargains opened a store in Sittingbourne last year
Discount retailer Home Bargains opened a store in Sittingbourne last year

Following a decline in sales, Homebase was sold to Hilco - the owner of HMV - for £1 in May 2018, just months after the Whitfield store has closed by the gardenware chain's Australian owner Bunnings.

Meanwhile, Home Bargains, which was founded in 1976, has expanded rapidly since 2013 and now operates more than 450 stores across the country.

It recently placed sixth on Which?'s Top 100 stores list, the highest ranked discount retailer.

For more information, search reference number 19/00384 in the Dover District Council planning portal.

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