Major clothing chain planning a huge Midlands store expansion
A major clothing chain is planning to double the size of its Laois store, with extra staff expected to be required.
Laois County Council has received a planning application to double the size of a shop in Laois Shopping Centre.
Lindat Ltd is seeking to rearrange shop units to allow for the expansion of the centre's anchor tenant in Unit 3, from 1,454 sqm to 3,013sqm of retail space.
A source has confirmed that the tenant is Primark who own Penneys.
The extra space was built for Penneys when the shopping centre expanded back in 2011 but has waited empty since then.
It is expected that the Penneys makeover will be ready to open this year, and could require up to twice as many staff.
The non retail backroom area will spread to the ground floor, to include a staff canteen and storage. The single shop entrance will remain where it is off the shopping mall.
The application which has been initially returned as incomplete by Laois planners, is expected to be resubmitted. It is as follows:
"Reorganise & redistribute retail floor areas within the extent of the existing building envelope affecting the following existing Retail Units No.s; 18, 19, 20, 24, 98 (Anchor Unit 03) and 132 at mall and first floor levels. This will result in the provision of a total of 24sqm additional floor area (circulation) at mall & first-floor levels and a change of use of 254sqm from retail area (Unit No. 132) at first-floor level to circulation area. Existing Mall & First Floor Retail Unit No. 132 (2,979 sqm) will be reconfigured to provide a first floor only unit with 795 sqm.
"Existing mall floor Retail Unit No. 98 (Anchor Unit 03) with 1,454 sqm will be extended at mall & first-floor levels (to include subdivided area of existing Unit No. 132) and subdivided at mall floor level to provide a new Retail Unit No. 133 with 122 sqm and part of a new Retail Unit No. 134 with 477 sqm, resulting in a proposed total retail floor area of 3,013sqm for Unit No. 98 (Anchor Unit 03) spread over mall & first floor levels.
"Existing Ground Floor Unit No.s 19, 20 & 24 will be amalgamated with part of the subdivided existing Unit No. 98 (Anchor Unit 03) to provide anew mall level Unit No. 134 (477 sqm). Fit-out to Retail Unit No. 98 (Anchor 03) retail area, back of-house storage area, provision of staff facilities, canteen & toilets, relocation of goods-in area from existing location on west side of centre to new location on west side accessible from existing dedicated service yard, blocking-up of existing roller shutter & re-cladding of single-storey brick facade to west elevation, 2 no. proposed new openings for roller shutter and fire escape doors to west elevation, 3 no. new window openings to existing cladding at first floor level on north and west elevations, 6 no. new rooflights to the existing roof, new service risers and plant equipment located within and adjacent to existing plant enclosure at roof level, and all other associated site works. The development also provides for the provision of 5 no. new external signs for Unit 98 (Anchor 03)"