Empty unit at new retail park could become pharmacy under new plans

Haddington Retail Park had attempted to find a food outlet tenant for the unused facility.

Empty unit at new Haddington retail park could become pharmacy in plans submitted to East Lothian Council LDRS

A bid to turn an empty unit at a new retail park into a pharmacy after original plans for a cafe were dropped has been given the green light.

Owners of Haddington Retail Park, on the west of the East Lothian town, said attempts to find a business to take on the cafe/takeaway unit had failed to find a tenant.

However owners Epic said interest had been shown in opening a chemist in the small unit and applied to council planners for permission to change the use of it from Class 3 to Class 1 to allow the new retail service.

A report by the local autority’s planning officers said that the applicants had stated the retail park was supposed to be a ‘local centre’ for the west of the town which has undergone a transformation as new housing developments have been built.

And they said attempts to find a cafe/takeaway operator to move into the sole vacant unit on the site had failed.

Officers said: “The supporting statement submitted with this application states that all of the [units] have been built. They are also all occupied with the exception of Unit 4.

“It states that, despite extensive marketing, it has not been possible to find a Class 3 occupier for this unit.

“However, it states that there has been interest shown in occupying Unit 4 as a pharmacy (a Class 1 use) and that there is a high demand for a service facility of this type.

“It states that the approved Haddington Retail Park was, in part, considered to fulfil the role of a ‘local centre’ at the western end of Haddington and that a Class 1 use of the unoccupied building of Unit 4 would be consistent with that role.”

The retail park at Gateside in the town opened last year with new Aldi, Home Bargains and Food Warehouse stores as well as a Costa drive-thru.

In June, a Shell petrol station also opened on the site but the smaller retail unit set aside for a cafe/takeaway remained empty.

The arrival of a Starbuck’s drive-thru next door to the site earlier this year added to facilities available to visitors.

East Lothian planners granted a certificate of lawfulness to the site owners to change the unit’s use.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code