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Folkestone: B&Q's mystery replacement retailer withdraws application

Permission has been withdrawn for the former B&Q store to sell more than just DIY products, deepening the mystery as to what retailer will replace it.

The empty premises in Park Farm Road, Folkestone, shut in January after a major closing down sale.

An application was put forward by Glasgow-based Butler Mason Ltd asking for an extension on the range of goods the premises could sell.

The B&Q store remains derelict. Picture: Paul Amos
The B&Q store remains derelict. Picture: Paul Amos

This was so that a future occupant would be able to stock items such as clothes for all ages, food, fashion and alcohol.

The document attached to the application also said and that direct competition would be with Sainsbury’s and Home Bargains, also within the out-of-town retail park.

Planning members at Shepway District Council (SDC) were forced to debate the proposal without any knowledge of what would go in its place in December.

B&Q customers need to travel to Dover and Ashford. Picture: Paul Amos
B&Q customers need to travel to Dover and Ashford. Picture: Paul Amos

But in a bid to save job prospects it was unanimously passed.

The only clue the planning members were given was that the retailer would be new to Folkestone.

On Thursday, January 26, a letter from the head of planning at SDC Ben Geering acknowledged the withdrawal of the application, which was labelled under “noncompliance.”

The short letter, signed by Mr Geering, said: “With reference to the above application, I can confirm that it has been withdrawn from the statutory register on January 26, 2017.”

A Shepway council spokesman said the application was considered by the Planning and Licensing Committee on December 20.

The spokesman said: “The committee resolved to approve the application but the applicant withdrew the application before the decision notice was issued.

"Applicants don’t have to give a reason for withdrawing an application.”

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