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Toys R Us plans to come to Cheltenham's Kingsditch Retail Park

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 09, 2012

  • The old MFI store at Kingsditch Retail Park, Cheltenham

  • The Gloucester Toys R Us store

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TOYS R Us has received permission to move into Cheltenham's former MFI store.

Council bosses have agreed that toys can be sold at the unit at Kingsditch Retail Park, which has been empty for four years. This paves the way for the retail giant to move into Unit One.

Cheltenham Borough Council agreed to lift the restrictions on what can be sold from the unit, which was occupied by furniture store MFI until 2008. Permission has been granted subject to a number of conditions being met and the company will now have a five-year window to take advantage and establish a presence in the town.

A letter submitted to the council on behalf of Toys R Us in support of changing the rules said "the company has confirmed its desire to occupy the unit as soon as practicable in order to complement the company's existing store in Gloucester".

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John Forward, the manager of the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham town centre, said: "There are very, very few major toy retailers in town these days and I think adding Toys R Us in the town would be great.

"The more retailers that we can bring into Cheltenham has to be beneficial.

"Clearly they could not come into the town centre but there are very few toy retailers in the town, or even in the Cheltenham area.

"Really, there is very little in the toy market.

"The odd shop is doing puzzles and things but as a pure toy shop, there are very few.

"Quite honestly, with Toys R Us coming to the Cheltenham area, it can only be beneficial.

"I think it is great that we are getting other retailers coming in to this town that do not already have a presence here."

Conditions

Ian Crohill, a senior planning officer at Cheltenham Borough Council, said the authority agreed to extend the unit's existing conditions after an independent retail planning advisor suggested selling toys at the site would have 'minimal, if any' effect on town centre retailers.

He said: "Kingsditch Retail Park is subject to a general planning condition which limits the type of goods that can be sold so that the retail units do not have an adverse effect on the town centre's vitality and viability.

"Toys R Us has applied to have the condition extended to enable it to sell toys at the former MFI store which has been vacant since 2008.

"We consulted an independent retail planning adviser who concluded that selling toys from this site would have minimal, if any, effect on the town centre and for this reason we have approved the change to conditions."

Toys R Us was unavailable to comment before the Echo went to press.

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  • JacobWhite  |  October 10 2012, 1:23PM

    Unfortunately, due to the size of this store, it'll be second rate as it won't stock the full range of items like the nearest mega one, lloks like were still be going to Gloucester...

    Rate   -3
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  • cofcleeve  |  October 10 2012, 11:06AM

    At last! I always thought a ToysRus in Cheltenham would be a good idea... sadly my kids have grown up now!

    Rate   3
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  • cofcleeve  |  October 10 2012, 11:03AM

    At last! always thought a ToysRus in Cheltenham would a good idea... sadly my kids have grown up now!

    Rate   2
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  • aproperparent  |  October 10 2012, 9:18AM

    Personally I am glad, saves going to Gloucester. But really, these planners have no idea...'minimal if any effect on retailers'.....hello!! Next door to Argos, possibly the biggest toy retailer, well it has been for the last few years!

    Rate   1
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  • Grahambarker  |  October 10 2012, 7:54AM

    Not a toff and dont like to moan but come on - its the mst boring 'toy' store in the world - just shelves of cardboard boxes. Would really love to see them create something new and inspiring.

    Rate   -5
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  • mpb1984  |  October 09 2012, 11:06PM

    Yippie! I don't have to take a pushchair through the busy town center on the up and coming Christmas rush!

    Rate   5
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  • Ms_Superstar  |  October 09 2012, 12:47PM

    I was just wondering to myself the other day what had happened to Toys R Us, and whether they still existed. So now I know. Perhaps I'd visit if I had children, or maybe nephews and nieces to buy presents for. Unfortunately, I don't (well, not young enough to want toys, anyway). But good luck to them. I remember there was quite a successful toy shop in the Regent Arcade - surprising, since its only access was by a narrow escalator. Great idea for attracting parents with small children.

    Rate   3
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  • Matt1006  |  October 09 2012, 11:17AM

    Long-term empty unit finally to get new tenant. Good news. Anybody who doesn't like Toys R Us can simply not visit the store, once open.

    Rate   9
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  • blooz  |  October 09 2012, 10:43AM

    Coooooooooooooool TOOOOOOOYS! Yay!

    Rate   7
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  • system64  |  October 09 2012, 7:31AM

    Chelt Toffs moaning in 3...2...

    Rate   2
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