Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Planning application for "The Range" at Long Rock

Questmap Ltd have submitted a planning application for a new building on the Questmap Business Park, Long Rock, to house "The Range" . The building will provide ~2787 sq metres of trading space , a 'garden centre'. and 172 parking spaces. The new store is estimated to create 120 new jobs. 

The planning application (PA14/05612) can be found on Cornwall Council's online planning register here:

The Questmap Business park site affected by the application is currently dominated by the rusting steel frame of a previous building on the site.


  1. As a small business owner in penzance town centre I strongly object to the planning application for “The Range” to be built at Questmap Business Park, Long Rock Industrial Estate, Long Rock Penzance TR20 8AS.
    Reasons for this is:
    Having passed and built another supermarket out of town, this has already had an impact on my business
    The Range have the buying power for 90 stores nationwide, when I am an independent shop with the buying power of 1
    I would not be able to compete on price as their products are sold for a lot less
    The public are not going to visit the town centre when they can drive to “The Range” Park for FREE and have everything under one roof
    Yes it might create jobs, but for the likes of me and other small business it may lead to dismissing staff, to try and enable there businesses to survive
    Business rates I do believe are cheaper out of town than in town, this also gives them an advantage
    There are more than enough empty shops in town now; surely your aim is to keep the town alive instead of allowing big retail chains take over the small independent and unique shops which make Penzance the town it is
    I hope you can see sense in this matter and vote for the in town independent shops and not the out of town development

    1. The Chamber of Commerce has to respond to the retail World as it is not how independent retailers might like it to be or how it was in the past We need to get the best outcome for Penzance in the medium to long term. That means acknowledging that many shoppers shop differently from how they did in the past. The shoppers with the most disposable money do a lot of online shopping and have the greatest choice of which town to choose for their ‘bricks and mortar’ leisure shopping. Penzance has been uncompetitive and risks becoming more so as national chains retreat to the larger retail centres. We could easily adopt a ‘fortress Penzance’ approach to retailing and rail against all out of town retail activity but such a policy would destroy Penzance a retail centre. Out-of-town shopping is a distinct retail sub-sector . Having an attractive out-of-town offering with popular retail names raises Penzance retail profile and attractiveness in West Cornwall. We have to do this to appeal to the 100,000 shoppers in the surrounding area who are increasingly being lured away to other retail centres. We do not want to give this entire sector (large format out-of-town stores) over to competitor towns. Once shoppers decide to visit another town because of a weak out-of-town offering in Penzance there is no chance of ‘popping in to Penzance Town Centre’ on the same visit. The Town Centre can benefit from a strong out-of-town offering if its own offering is attractive.
      Penzance has to accommodate popular large stores like the Range because to say no risks making Penzance irrelevant as a regional retail centre. A local population of 20,000 (+ summer visitors) is unlikely to support the current 300+ retail outlets in the Town.
      The Chamber of Commerce is supporting the development because on balance it is good for Penzance’s future as a retail centre. That does not mean it does not hurt some traders.
      There are many good examples of independent retailers in Penzance carving out successful niches which avoid direct competition with out of town stores and national chains.
      On the matter of business rates, nobody knows what the rateable value will be for the new store. The Chamber explored the rates paid by Tesco (out of town) and by Co-op (Market Jew Street) with the Valuation Office Agency and the VOA were able to show there was broad comparability over rates charged for trading space. Tesco had very little local storage space and has a very high turnover per square metre so business rates were a smaller in comparison to sales. Car Parking was another matter but the Co-op only had 9 spaces for their own staff.

      Your comment raises a lot of complex issues that cannot be fully covered even in this long reply. Please contact the Chamber Chairman (Dick Cliffe) if you what to discus the issues in more detail.