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NORTH EAST ROOTS: New Barker and Stonehouse near the Metro Centre

NORTH EAST ROOTS: New Barker and Stonehouse near the Metro Centre

How the new Barker and Stonehouse store planned for land near the Metro Centre could look, Image: YEME Architects

A national furniture retailer with roots in the North East is set to open a new store in Gateshead if the council give its plans the go-ahead.

Barker and Stonehouse, which was founded in Stockton in 1946, has applied to Gateshead Council for permission to erect a new store on the Metro Centre retail park.

If the plans are rubber stamped existing buildings on the site, west of Gibside Way, will be demolished to make way for the new building.

The fresh unit would have an internal floor area of 4,333sqm boasting mezzanine floors with a terrace café incorporated into the rooftop.

A report to the authority’s planning committee said that the retailer wants to take advantage of an expected up-tick in furniture buying.

It said: “The proposals core catchment is defined as the extent of Gateshead and the proposal will help to stem leakage of expenditure to other areas (estimated at £134m in 2024).

“The assessment takes into account changes in population and
rates of expenditure, forecasting a growth of £35m in bulky goods expenditure by 2024, excluding any additional increases linked to housing growth in the borough.”

A design and access statement lodged with the council claimed the new store would improve the area.

It said: “The proposal will enhance the built environment of the Metro Centre, Metro Retail Park and wider area and has the potential to act as a catalyst and exemplar for future developments in the area.”

The authority’s planning department has recommended approval for the plans saying the application would redevelop the site.

The planning committee is set to vote on the proposals on Wednesday.


Words: Herbert Soden, Local Democracy Reporter

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