New Farmfoods approved for Longbenton creating eight full-time jobs

Proposed site for a branch of Farmfoods near the Boulevard Shopping Centre in Longbenton.
-Credit: (Image: ChronicleLive)

Councillors have unanimously approved plans for a new Longbenton Farmfoods store.

The new food store, forming part of the Boulevard Shopping Centre site on West Farm Avenue, will stretch to approximately 1,163 sqm in size and provide eight full-time jobs. The new store, when constructed, will be open 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

According to documents supplied by Farmfoods the current store in Longbenton is very successful but as a result is "showing signs of overtrading".

It adds: “The store is also dated and does not provide the customer experience expected from a modern food store. In order to remain in Longbenton the company needs to make the investment to improve the range and offer to the existing customer base and this requires a larger footprint which is not currently available.”

Council documents also stated: “The proposed development would support economic investment in Longbenton, promoting the long-term vitality and viability of the local centre, improving the shopping facility for the local community.”

Objections were raised about the loss of open space by members of the public. However, a council report on the application states the land lost is of “medium quality and medium value”, and that high-quality green spaces will still be available.

Examples cited within the report include Longbenton Park playsite, the games area on West Farm Avenue, and green spaces on Clent Way and Chesters Avenue. The land has also been earmarked for the future development of the Boulevard Shopping Centre since 2002.

In 2016, the council had approved plans for a new Aldi on the site but these plans did not come to fruition.