Pet shop plan for old Cromer MFI store

Moves are afoot to split a shut down MFI furniture store at Cromer in two, to include a pet shop.The town's branch, which opened in 2005, closed with the loss of eight jobs recently.

MOVES are afoot to split a shut-down MFI furniture store at Cromer in two, to include a pet shop.

The town's branch, which opened in 2005, has closed with the loss of eight jobs.

It was among 81 stores that went into administration when they were left out of a management buyout which secured 1,300 jobs in 106 stores around the rest of the country.

Now owners of the North Norfolk Retail Park on the Holt Road, which also includes Argos and Carpetright outlets, are looking for a replacement tenant.

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But, hampered by the economic downturn, they have been struggling to find anyone interested in the 900sq m unit, say agents Drivers Jonas.

However there was interest in smaller units, including from a specialist out-of-town pet store operator,

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They are seeking to add pet supplies to the agreed uses on the retail p- which currently only specifies carpets, electrical white goods, DIY, furniture, car accessories and cycles.

An application to North Norfolk District Council said all other 400sq m units in Cromer, Sheringham and Holt were occupied.

All three towns had two pet shops but they were "specialised" top-ups that did not offer a comprehensive range of bulky pet goods provided by out-of-town stores. There was a precedent for out-of-town pet operators in Yarmouth, King's Lynn and Norwich, added the agents.

The application says the use would not harm the viability of the town centres, and that a further scheme would be submitted to provide new entrances and canopies to the split-up store.

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