Morrisons Application Update – Public Consultation Open

Newcastle Great Park Consortium and Morrisons are preparing a planning application for a new food store to be located at the heart of Great Park.  The application will be submitted to Newcastle City Council shortly.  A food store anchor for the town centre is established within the Master Plan for Great Park.

The planning application will be a reserved matters application following the granting of outline planning permission for a new food store under the original Master Plan application. 

The Site

The application site is located at the heart of Great Park.  This development will act as a catalyst for further investment in the town centre.  The site will have excellent pedestrian links with the town centre and the surrounding residential areas. 

What is Proposed?

  • A new Morrisons food store measuring 3,646 sq.m. gross / 1,907 sq.m. net.
  • The food store will be located be located on the south west part of the site with car parking to the north and eastern parts of the site. 
  • Vehicular access into the food store will be facilitated via the southern arm of the Great Parkway / Wagonway Drive roundabout. 
  • The service yard will be located on the eastern elevation of the food store on the southern boundary of the site and delivery vehicles will enter and exit the site via its own access road, located at the furthest point from residential properties.
  • The store will be of a high quality and modern design.  To ensure an active frontage between the food store, car park, town centre and the streetscape, glazing has been used wherever possible.
  • Pedestrian links with the rest of the town centre and surrounding residential areas are provided across the site.
  • Cycle parking will be provided in the form of Sheffield stands for customers totalling 20 spaces and in the form of secure cycle stores for employees totalling 9 spaces
  • 191 car parking spaces will be provided on site; included disabled spaces, parent and child spaces and 12 rapid electrical charging points.

Morrisons the Company

Morrisons is the fourth largest supermarket chain in the UK.  It operates approximately 500 stores throughout the UK and employs in excess of 120,000 people.

Morrisons aims to offer outstanding value for money and customer service in a modern and pleasant shopping environment.  The Company has one of the most comprehensive ranges of fresh food and groceries in the UK.  Morrisons retailing policy aims to embrace:

  • combining low prices with special offers and promotions;
  • offering the best in quality choice and competitive value selling a wide range of goods including fresh foods, groceries, home and leisure items and beers, wines and spirits;
  • delivering a high-quality shopping environment in well-designed buildings constructed and equipped to a high specification; and
  • a commitment to quality, convenience and competitiveness.

Morrisons is primarily a food grocery store and unlike their competitors, sell only a modest range of non-food goods, geared more towards impulse purchases.  

In this proposed store, Morrisons Market Street will have colleagues in-store preparing fresh food every day.  The store will include:

  • A bakery
  • Hot and cold ‘food to go’
  • Fresh meat and fish counters
  • A barista coffee bar and customer cafe
  • Services such as Amazon lockers, Coinstar and a photo booth

The store will also stock products made by local food makers. 

The variety of skills and trades supported by a modern food store is considerable, ranging from manual to professional.  These include management and personnel, butchers, bakers, fishmongers, warehouse staff, security staff, checkout operators and supervisors.

Morrisons staff benefit from a comprehensive and competitive employment package.  The Company is committed to training and operates its own in-house training programmes for all grades of staff, and a Graduate Training Programme.  Morrisons also has a Management Development programme aimed at developing staff from supervisor status to store manager.

It is company policy to recruit new store staff from the local area.

Benefits of the Proposal

  • The delivery of a food store will help to realise the original Master Plan envisaged for the site;
  • The food store will anchor the town centre and create a thriving retail core for Great Park;
  • The development will support the growing occupation of the retail units and it is hoped bring about investment to develop the other units in the town centre;
  • The food store has a modern and innovative design that compliments the local area;
  • It will provide 140 new jobs;
  • The food store will retain customers and residents currently leaving Great Park to carry out their food shopping elsewhere;
  • It will provide residents with a wider choice and range of goods;
  • It will provide the opportunity to support the development of the pedestrianised routes through the town centre and greatly enhanced landscaping; and
  • The store will also have a dedicated Community Champion who’ll play an active role in the local community by supporting local projects, fundraising for local good causes and working with community groups.

Planning Policy

Outline planning permission 1999/1300/01/OUT was granted on the 6 October 2000 for the development of 484 hectares for business and industrial park with ancillary uses; residential; educational; retail; community; recreational and countryside uses; high-capacity public transport corridor; park and ride schemes and associated highways and landscaping.  This development has been implemented and is known as Great Park.

The outline planning permission was varied under 1999/1300/121/RVC, granted on 17 September 2010.  This sought to vary conditions 2 (amendments to Master Plan) and condition 21 (to increase the amount of retail floor space).  Condition 16 of the of permission 1999/1300/121/RVC states that:

“Gross retail floorspace, as defined by Class A1 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes Order 2005), within the town centre shall not exceed 4,150 sq m, including a supermarket of up to 2,044 sq m (net floorspace).”

The application established the principle of an anchor food store in the Great Park town centre as part of the Master Plan.

Morrisons are now seeking a reserved matters application pursuant to the outline permission to bring forward a new food store for Great Park.

The application will be assessed against all the relevant Development Plan Policies as part of the planning submission.  The application will also be supported by an array of planning drawings as well as the following reports which will all be available to view on Newcastle City Council’s public access page.

  • Application plans
  • Coal mining risk assessment
  • Noise impact assessment
  • Flood risk / drainage statement
  • Design and Access statement
  • Landscaping strategy
  • Planning statement
  • Sustainability statement
  • Transport statement
  • Road safety audit
  • Travel plan

What Happens Next?

Morrisons welcome your views and comments on these proposals, please send these directly by email to:

Comments are invited prior to and during the application process.  All comments received will be reviewed by their design team. 

A reserved matters application is expected to be submitted in March.  Once the application is submitted and validated, you will also have the opportunity to send your comments directly to Newcastle City Council via their Public Access website.

We hope that planning permission will be granted during the summer and that a new store will open at the end of the year / early 2022.