Store has committed to High Street store and new Iceland Food Warehouse at Anchorwood Bank

Iceland will not be leaving Barnstaple High Street and has promised an ‘exciting’ new store at Anchorwood Bank, despite concerns about the number of convenience stores in the town.

A planning application to accommodate an Iceland Food Warehouse at the Anchorwood development was submitted last month.

The new chain of larger store would be around twice the size of the High Street store and would offer a wider range of goods.

Iceland’s director of corporate affairs, Keith Hann, said Iceland was ‘fully committed’ to keeping the High Street store.

He added: “We already have 55 The Food Warehouse stores serving towns and cities across the UK where Iceland already traded, and can demonstrate that the two very different store formats work well alongside each other.

“We very much hope that North Devon Council will approve a planning application that will allow us to bring an exciting and complementary new shopping experience to Barnstaple and create 20-25 new jobs for local people.”

However, the proposed store has raised concerns from consultees to the planning application.

Both Barnstaple Town Centre Management (BTCM) and Barnstaple Town Council have objected to the plans, with both believing the move would have an ‘adverse impact on the vitality and viability of the town centre.’

BTCM said: “BTCM believes that there is already an oversupply of convenience floor space in Barnstaple and a further increase will have a detrimental impact on the town centre.

“It should also be noted that there are vacant available town centre properties adjacent to Iceland’s current site which could, if combined, provide the required floor space and associated parking, so we do not believe that the sequential test has been satisfied.”

BTCM’s concern about the oversupply of convenience stores is shared by North Devon Council’s lead officer for planning policy, Andrew Austen.

He said the arrival of stores such as Poundstretcher, Poundworld, Poundland, and B&M meant Barnstaple has exceeded its need for the future.

He said: “The identified needs for convenience floor space across North Devon up to 2032 have been met in full and exceeded with 15 years still to go.”