The long-running speculation over B&Q’s future at the Maybird Retail Park could be coming to an end after the company submitted a planning application to improve its current store.
The store’s future has seemed uncertain since 2016 when the owners of the Maybird site, The Capital Hill Partnership, gained planning permission to demolish and redevelop the unit occupied by B&Q.
The DIY giant gained a reprieve in 2017 when it obtained a three-year lease extension at the site, though it was still expected that the park’s owners intended to eventually redevelop the unit.
It has long been suggested that B&Q could move to a proposed out-of-town park on the A46 when that happens, designs for which are currently going through the planning process.
However an application which appeared on the district council’s planning website this week reveals plans to revamp the current B&Q store, bringing it up to date with the rest of Maybird units, and for the retailer to stay at the site.
The application states: “The building has had no investment for almost 35 years and proposed alterations will bring the B&Q store up to the same visual standard as the rest of the surrounding retail stores.
“B&Q are committed to keeping the only DIY store in the town open, so investment is needed to make the building last well into the future.”
When approached by the Herald this week, B&Q declined to comment on whether they planned to stay at the current Maybird store in the long-term, though a spokesperson for the company said: “We are committed to the Stratford area and are continuing to serve customers from this site.”
Joe Baconnet, director of Stratfordward BID, said: “I believe B&Q being located where it is now, near the town centre, is better than it moving to an out of town location. Having now seen this application I do now have some reservations about the A1 element of the proposed A46 site, I wouldn’t like to see the developers of that site now just throw in something like a supermarket in place of a DIY store.”