PLANS for a new multi-million pound retail park outside of Colchester town centre look set to get the go ahead.

Developer Churchmanor Estates hopes to build nine new retail units, three of which will be home to Marks and Spencer, Aldi and B&Q, as well as three cafés and a restaurant.

The remaining retail units are expected to house furniture and homeware stores.

The scheme is the second part of the Stane Park project, opposite Tollgate Sainsbury’s, and will be decided upon next week.

The project has been recommended for approval by Colchester Council planners, subject to agreement on what contributions the developer is willing to make to the community.

In documents set to go before the council’s planning committee, it states although consultants found “shortcomings” in the developer’s retail impact assessment - which measures how the scheme could affect the town centre - there would no significant impact.

It adds: “The overall conclusion was the impact on the town centre was not significant, particularly in context of the Tollgate Village appeal decision, where it was concluded even the worst case 14 per cent impact would not cause a significant adverse impact on the town centre.

“In this case, the retail assessment submitted concludes a 9 per cent cumulative impact with the Tollgate Village development - significantly less than the 14 per cent quoted in the Tollgate Village appeal decision.”

The planning document adds: “The only likely impact from the proposed development is on the adjacent Tollgate Centre, with any disbenefits from loss/diversion of trade likely to be outweighed by the benefits of linked trips.

“The impact is not, therefore, considered to be significantly adverse.”

Agreements are in place for £2.5 million-worth of road improvements to be made to the A12 Eight Ash Green junction in a bid to help traffic flow and make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

Meanwhile, the first stage of the Stane Park development has been completed, with signed-on tenants such as Bella Italia, Nando’s, KFC and Starbucks set to open within three months.

Gazette: Finished - stage one of Stane Park has been completed

Stephen Clark, boss at Churchmanor Estates, said “We have taken great care over the design layout and landscaping within the scheme and we are pleased to be able to bring these much needed facilities to the residents of Stanway.

Gazette: stane park.

“The success of the Princess Charlotte pub is just the start for the leisure park and we are excited to see the new restaurants open to similar success.”

Steven Rose, of Rose Builders, which completed the work, added: “The food retail facility will endure for generations to come.”