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B&M's plans for former Focus store restricted by DIY-only rule

Published: 28 January 2013
Discount retailer B&M Homestores is hoping to get a planning application approved to take over a former Shepton Mallet Focus DIY store - but conditions placed on the site 10 years ago restrict its trade to DIY products, which means the venture could be unviable, according to B&M.
B&M's plans for former Focus store restricted by DIY-only rule
Planning permission was originally granted for the out-of-town Focus DIY store by Mendip District Council - but only on the understanding it would sell DIY and builders' merchants goods, hardware, electrical goods, furniture, furnishings, floor coverings, plants and gardening equipment. This, it said at the time, was to ensure the future of Shepton Mallet town centre.

If B&M was to take on the premises, it would be similarly restricted on the sale of food and drink, cleaning and toiletry products. The retailer is arguing that without being able to sell its crucial 'impulse buy' lines, the site would not be a viable investment.

It is campaigning for the right to sell items such as confectionary, cleaning products, toiletries, toys, basic clothing, homeware and non-perishable food and drink in the store. While Shepton Mallet Town Council has reportedly backed B&M, according to local press, Mendip District Council has until March 21 to deliver a verdict.

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