Plans to change bowling alley into Matalan could be rejected by Rugby councillors

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Plans to change Rugby’s bowling alley into a Matalan are due to be refused amid fears it would damage the town centre.

Rugby borough councillors will meet at a planning committee at the Town Hall tonight (Wednesday) to discuss plans to convert Rugby Superbowl into a shop at the Junction One Retail Park.

Developers Indigo Planning want to change the use of the bowling alley from leisure to retail use.

The proposals include alterations to the building to accommodate high street retailer Matalan.

Rugby First, Stagecoach and local residents have all lodged formal objections against the plans.

Rugby First said it would compete directly with shops within the town centre and suggested that Matalan could ‘easily’ be accommodated within the proposed plans to extend the Clock Towers Shopping Centre in Evreux Way.

Stagecoach said the site is not easily served by bus stops, while residents in the area raised concerns over the loss of a leisure facility in Rugby.

Planning officers recommended that councillors refuse the plans.

The report, due to be presented to councillors at the meeting, said: “It is considered that there is a suitable and available site to accommodate the proposal within the town centre.”

The report added that it would result in a ‘significant adverse impact’ on the town centre.

Plans to expand Clock Towers have been approved but owners have said it may not go ahead after permission was also granted to extend Elliott’s Field Retail Park across the road from Junction one.

Cllr Heather Timms said: “It is important for the future of the borough that we continue to consider each and every planning application on its own merits, based on the facts as they stand.”

Indio Planning has also applied to Rugby Borough Council to build five new shops at Junction One Retail Park.

Carpet Right and Brantano are expected to move into two of the units. The other three units will be for other large bukly goods retialers.

The plans are recommended for approval.

Outline planning permission for nearly 10,000 sq m of bulky goods retail space in Technology Drive has also been recommended for approval by planning officers.