PLANS for a self-storage company to take over a large Darlington retail unit have been submitted.

A developer acting on behalf of The Store Room submitted the proposal to convert the Poundstretcher store between Whessoe Road, North Road and Bonomi Way into a new self storage facility.

The proposed facility is intended to be fully refurbished and also include the creation of a mezzanine floor and ancillary office.

The applicant added it would be used by a wide range of local businesses and homeowners, the applicant said.

The Northern Echo:

It said: “The Store Room has identified the site for the proposed self-storage use which will provide a new service, positive contribution, and contemporary addition to the local area.

“Demand for both basic and more sophisticated self-storage facilities has been increasing across the UK for a number of years, and this trend has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic, with a growing proportion of businesses moving online and with more people working from home, at least for part of the week.

“Self-storage facilities are increasingly popular with start-up businesses and small growing enterprises, where traditional warehouse units are often too big and/or occupational terms too inflexible to be appropriate for their requirements.”

The Store Room would, it says, offer these facilities in “a high-quality building refurbishment” that will complement nearby buildings.

Car parking spaces would be reduced from around 87 to 53 due to self-storage sites operating on fewer car parking requirements.

The building would retain its external metal cladding but be sprayed in different colours including black, grey and pink in keeping with The Store Room branding.

The Northern Echo: How the site off Whessoe Road currently looksHow the site off Whessoe Road currently looks

However, one objection against the proposal has already been submitted.

The objector argued there are already two self-storage facilities in Darlington, with plans submitted for a third - another Mylockup facility on Morton Park Way, near Amazon.

Another similar facility “is unsustainable and causes the loss of a considerable number of jobs in an existing retail business,” they said.

Darlington Council is due to provide a decision on the proposal this year.

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