Published: 09:48, 22 January 2019
| Updated: 11:19, 22 January 2019
The site of the old Toys R Us in Horsted Retail Park could be turned into Home Bargains and house a new gym.
Insurers and investment company Royal London submitted the plans for a change of use in the unit.
Home Bargains and UFC Gym are expected to open on the site after submitting their interests.
UFC Gym is an American brand of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) gyms. The gym on this site is expected to have 24-hour access.
Changes to the car park and access to Horsted Retail Park have also been proposed.
Ward councillor Sylvia Griffin said she was pleased that the space was being used and confirmed that another crossing on Maidstone Road would be added in an attempt to slow down traffic once the new stores are open.
Royal London’s Senior Asset Manager, Yasin Sadiq, said: “We are delighted to be progressing plans for the vacant unit at Horsted Retail Park, which would see two exciting brands introduced to the site and further enhance the Retail Park’s offering to local residents.
“With planning permission already established for a new Aldi and KFC, we are looking forward to working with Medway Council to deliver a solution for the vacant unit. We believe our current proposals provide the best possible outcome for the building, replacing the jobs lost at Toys R Us and securing the long-term future of Horsted Retail Park in what we know to be a very challenging retail climate.”
The investment is expected to bring about around 100 jobs and is part of a £6m investment. If the deal to transform the old Toys R Us site goes ahead, it will bring approximately 90 additional jobs to Horsted Retail Park, and represent a further £3,000,000 of inward investment.
Cllr Trevor Clarke, ward councillor for Rochester South commented, "The new proposals are of course subject to planning approval following consultation with the local community. We welcome the principle of the development and in particular the additional 90 local jobs on top of the 100 that will be created through the Aldi/KFC build.
"It was important that this major gateway site be fully occupied and, if agreed, the interesting mix of tenants should make for a new retail and user experience at the park that increases the local choice for our Rochester South and Horsted residents."