AN APPLICATION for a giant Marks & Spencer store on Chester's outskirts is due to be considered next month (November).
Plans for the flagship store near Cheshire Oaks have been amended since they were first submitted to Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council.
The 195,000 sq ft development at Longlooms Road opposite The Coliseum, twice the size of the Asda superstore in Ellesmere Port, would create 460 jobs.
It would be the second largest Marks & Spencer store in the country behind the Marble Arch branch.
M&S chairman Sir Stuart Rose has said the company is cutting back investment in the light of the credit crunch with spending this year reduced from between £800m and £900m to £700m and to £400m next year mainly on the supply chain and IT.
A London based spokesperson at M&S headquarters pointed out, however, that no date had been given for the new store and in any event this would be beyond 2009/10.
“This will be reviewed when we have planning permission,” she said.
Representing M&S and Simons Developments, Manchester based specialists HOW Planning say: “The store represents a major investment for Marks & Spencer in Ellesmere Port and one of their biggest projects to date.”
Welcoming the application at the time, Ellesmere Port and Neston council chief executive Brenda Harvey said: “This is excellent news for the borough.
“Interest from Marks & Spencer demonstrates just how successful a location Ellesmere Port has become.
“A development of this type would be a welcome addition to the attractions available in the Cheshire Oaks area.”
The company has given an assurance about the future of its two stores in Chester city centre.
The Simply Food outlet on The Coliseum would be relocated to the new store. M&S also has outlets on Cheshire Oaks.
Ellesmere Port and Neston planning committee is expected to discuss the plans at its meeting on Tuesday, November 11.