Lidl and B&M to invest £30m in new stores in Dunbar
Lidl and B&M have submitted planning applications to build two retail outlets in DunBear Park, part of the Halhill development in East Lothian.
The two stores are set to create up to 80 jobs for Dunbar should planning consent be given. With site infrastructure this is set to deliver £30 million of investment in the development.
The joint application by Hallhill Developments Limited, Lidl and B&M follows planning applications for roads, footpaths and essential infrastructure submitted last year, together with renewable energy proposals for the site.
The 54.3-acre development is designed around The DunBear, the five-metre high steel sculpture of a brown bear which pays tribute to Dunbar-born naturalist, John Muir, credited with playing a key role in the establishment of national parks in the USA.
The mixed-use development, which aims to include office, industrial, retail, leisure, extra care facilities, community and residential uses, will adopt the latest low carbon technology.
One of the key outcomes of the community consultation event for the DunBear Park development was a clear desire by the community for a far greater retail offering in Dunbar, serving to address increased demand and providing greater competition.
There are discount retailers in all the major towns in East Lothian except Dunbar and unsustainable travel is therefore occurring, with residents of the town going to other towns.
By preventing expenditure leakage outwith the town to other parts of East Lothian and Edinburgh, it will also keep money in the community. Hallhill Developments have committed to work with local community groups, including the Dunbar Traders Association, to deliver onsite signage, pushing people to visit the town centre.
Development onsite also serves to financially pump prime infrastructure to deliver further employment uses on the site. New infrastructure has to be installed at significant costs and this early phase of development on the DunBear site makes it more likely that future employment-generating development will occur.
The proposed road layout for the development provides a through route east to west across the site. Safe and direct pedestrian and cycle routes are included within the scheme and will continue to be refined.
DunBear Park aims to be a highly sustainable development, adopting the latest low carbon technology to generate renewable heat and power on site. This approach will ensure minimal impact on the environment and assist in tackling climate change, as well as supporting the green recovery from Covid-19.
Ken Ross from Hallhill Developments Limited, commented: “At a time when retailers are scaling back due to the pandemic, it is great to be able to announce that these operators will be coming to DunBear Park. This will address the increased demand and provide greater competition, key themes that came from the community consultation exercise we undertook.
“This £30 million investment will deliver up to 80 much-needed new jobs for the local community, which is a clear vote of confidence in this location and will also serve to deliver the necessary infrastructure to allow us to bring forward further investment into Dunbar.”
Philip Mellor from the Dunbar Traders’ Association, added: “Developments such as this complement Dunbar town centre, and through preventing retail leakage to elsewhere in East Lothian and Edinburgh will keep more money in the town.
“In order to maximise the potential of these exciting developments we will be working with the developer to establish ways to promote and use appropriate signage. This will attract people who are visiting these outlets and/or the fantastic DunBear sculpture to the town centre.
“This is a win-win situation for Dunbar.”