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Stonham Aspal retail and leisure hub submits application to expand with 16 new commercial spaces

Stonham Barns is hoping to welcome a tide of traders to Stonham Aspal, having submitted plans to create an additional 16 commercial units – at a cost of £300,000.

If approved, the black barn-style units – described as pods in the application – will be located within the designated market square of the shopping village.

It is hoped that they will help to stimulate trade in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis and will be made available to either new business start-ups or more established companies.

The 25th East Anglia Potato Day at Stonham Barns. Photo by Mark Bullimore
The 25th East Anglia Potato Day at Stonham Barns. Photo by Mark Bullimore

In a statement accompanying the plans, a representative of Stonham Barns Park said: “Our application for 16 new retail units was made in the hope of meeting the increasing demand for rural business premises and will be rented out to businesses that are looking for a location with regular visitors, to operate seven-days a week.”

Requiring a six-figure investment to develop the units, it is claimed the plans will create numerous new jobs and expand upon the 40 existing retail and leisure outlets already in operation at the site, which is situated in 140 acres of park land.

Park owner Alan Forward (pictured) said: “These modular units are the perfect showcase for the creative companies we are attracting to Stonham Barns Park.

“We have been highly successful in introducing artisan and novel businesses to the large numbers of visitors who visit us throughout the year.

“There is such diversity here and the accent is definitely on creativity and leisure, from paddle boards to fabrics, handmade teapots to pet products, art to furniture and from fashion to beauty – it’s all here within the one fully serviced shopping village.”

If permission is granted for the units, which will total 259 square metres of internal floor space, they are expected to create around 26 new jobs at Stonham Barns Park.

The application was submitted by agent Phil Cobbold Planning Ltd and will go before Mid Suffolk District Council later in the year.

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