Store deal is approved

Basingstoke Gazette: An artist's impression of the new store An artist's impression of the new store

MEMBERS of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s cabinet have accepted that the local authority will get a lower than expected sum from the deal to bring a new John Lewis at home and Waitrose store in Basing View.

As previously reported in The Gazette, the borough council is expected to receive £2.4million from the scheme to bring the landmark store to the town.

As part of the deal, John Lewis Partnership agreed a figure with the borough council and its Basing View development partner, Muse Developments, to build the store.

And the borough council’s seven-strong decision-making cabinet approved the deal which will see council-owned land needed for the John Lewis at home and Waitrose combined store sold to the John Lewis Partnership on a long-term lease of 150 years.

The site includes a car park, the land on which the former Poison pub stood, and a vacant plot of land which was a site of the former gasworks.

However, the £2.4m that the borough council is set to receive is less than was originally hoped for, because the overall cost to deliver the project has increased – and any additional funding needed to cover the construction costs will have to be taken from the proceeds of the sale of the land.

However, if any savings are made during the construction of the store, this money will be split between the borough council and Muse.

Councillor John Izett, cabinet member for property, finance and commissioning, said: “The additional costs were regrettable, and we have made our views clear to our partners on that.

“Fundamentally, we are going to achieve, and deliver, two major brands to the town.”

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