‘It’s a no-brainer’: Residents call for £32m Kingswood Retail Park expansion to go ahead

Residents have called on councillors to give the seal of approval to the “no brainer” £32m expansion of Kingswood Retail Park.

The proposed, controversial 10-unit development would create 250 jobs on empty land to the west of Next and bring “high-brand” stores to the city.

It was initially rejected by Hull councillors last year over fears it would impact city centre trade, but planners re-submitted the altered bid with promises it would complement existing retailers and bring something “completely different to Hull”.

The plans will now go before the council’s planning committee for a second time on Wednesday.

And, after 250 city centre businesses handed in a petition against the proposals, residents have said councillors need to ignore the traders’ “oversensitive” attitudes.

“I’m concerned that the protectionist attitudes from the city centre businesses will quash it,” said Mark Bisbey, chairman of Kingswood Residents Association.

Artist impression of Kingswood Retail Park

“The development seems to be something different than is anywhere else in the city. It would encourage people to come into Hull, and it complements what is already here.

“It would be rather than instead of. My gut feeling from what is in the planning application and from what the developers have told us is that it would be completely different. It will not be in direct competition to what is in the city centre.

“I can understand where the city centre businesses are coming from in protecting their own interests, but I feel they are being oversensitive about it.”

Previously, an Ikea click-and-collect store has been linked to the retail park along with high-end fashion brands.

In a recent consultation, more than 90 per cent of Kingswood residents said they were in favour of the development, put forward by Kier Property and Kingswood Parks Development Company (KPDC), going ahead.

Dan Hyde at the proposed site in Kingswood Retail Park

“We are not just talking about jobs, we are talking about more leisure units as well as restaurants and bars,” Mr Bisbey said.

“It’s more choice for people because at the moment in Kingswood it is quite limited compared to other parts of Hull.

“People living here have to travel across Hull to the Avenues, to the city centre to go out or eat, so it would be much better from a local point of view.”

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Mr Bisbey said he hoped the councillors would see the benefits the new development would bring to the growing estate.

“We have a company that is going to create 250 jobs in a sector where it is going to be useful for younger people in Kingswood especially,” he said.

“Kingswood was designed to be self-sufficient and the only thing that is missing now is jobs. This would be huge.

“There’s 3,000 homes going up in the next 13 years. It’s going to cause a massive difference to the population and we need jobs and leisure and retail units for that.

“It’s a no brainer.”

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