Tanning salon on the cards for Willow Brook

Archive image of mall unit 8 at the Willow Brook Centre trading as a Santander agency in 2011.

A retail unit at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre which has lain vacant for the past three years looks set to reopen soon as a tanning salon after planning consent was granted for a change of use.

Mall unit 8, between Ocean estate agents and Reflections hair salon, last traded as an agency of Santander bank, alongside mortgage and insurance specialists The Mortgage Market.

The recently granted planning application was made on behalf of The Feel Good Group, which operates the Tanning Shop brand, under whose banner the store is expected to operate.

A planning statement submitted with the application notes that the unit has been extensively marketed since the Santander agency closed, but no potential retail or Class A2 (financial services) operators have shown serious interest.

The statement adds: “The proposed tanning salon use will undoubtedly positively add to the diversity of uses on offer in the town centre and will ensure the long term vital and viable use of the premises.”

The Feel Good Group is an established operator of tanning salons, with shops throughout the UK and particularly in London. Each shop provides both UV and sunless tanning booths and staff are trained to promote responsible tanning and UV exposure. The shops also stock a range of tanning products including tanning SPF, fake tan products, skin care and body products.

In approving the application, the responsible council planning officer noted that the proposal would not result in the loss of a retail unit within the town centre, as the previous Class A2 use was not principally retail. Additionally, it was noted the proposed tanning salon would have a retail element, with tanning products displayed and sold within the salon. On this basis, it was not considered that the proposed change of use would detract from the retail character and function of the centre.

The consent granted allows the salon to open between 9am and 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. A total of five new jobs will be created, two full-time and three part-time.

The Journal understands that contracts are yet to be signed for a new lease, but as we went to press it was noted that a “coming soon” webpage had already been created for the Willow Brook Centre branch on the Tanning Shop website.

Photo: Archive image of mall unit 8 at the Willow Brook Centre trading as a Santander agency in 2011.

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 34). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

UPDATE (18/10/17): Shopfitters have commenced work within the unit.

UPDATE (19/10/17): A press release issued today by The Tanning Shop says their new Willow Brook store is “scheduled to open in November”.

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