Retailer denies interest in Barnstaple, while site owner says drawings were produced for ‘planning purposes’.

BARNSTAPLE has been left in limbo this week over whether TK Maxx is to set up shop in the town.

The discount fashion retailer has rubbished reports it is to open a branch in Green Lanes Shopping Centre, while landlord British Land said it was still talking to ‘a number’ of companies about the site, which also incorporates the anticipated redevelopment of 22 and 23 Joy Street.

A TK Maxx spokesman told the Gazette: “We have no plans to open a TK Maxx store in Barnstaple.”

Last week it emerged that British Land had sent letters to town centre businesses outlining plans – including artist’s impressions bearing TK Maxx signs – for a new 20,000sq ft TK Maxx store.

But this week, the commercial property developer remained tight-lipped about which retailer was being lined up to fill the trio of vacant units.

Jackie Whitaker, retail PR manager for British Land, said the illustrative images were produced for ‘planning purposes’ only.

She said she could not confirm which store would occupy the units until contracts had been signed, but they were talking to a number of companies about the site.

She said: “We are in discussions with a number of national retailers that aren’t currently represented in Barnstaple.

“We don’t release names until contracts have been exchanged. We would love to attract a retailer like TK Maxx.”

The company did confirm that ‘tenant interest’ had been secured for the unit and added: “It is intended that the new retail unit, which will accommodate a retailer not currently represented in Barnstaple.

“The plans include two floors of sales area and retain the existing listed building at 3 Green Lanes.

“If North Devon Council grants planning permission for this new unit by the end of the summer, we will start on site immediately with our aim to deliver this exciting new store to Barnstaple next summer.”