A NEW toy shop could be opening at a Basingstoke retail park.

Smyths Toys has applied to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to allow the shop to operate in Unit 2 at St Michael’s Retail Park, in Harrow Way.

The 2,578 square metre unit has been vacant since the retail park opened in October last year.

Smyths Toys said it has a “longstanding requirement for a new store in Basingstoke” and has identified the retail park as the “most appropriate location”.

As part of its plans it wants to install a new 465 square metre mezzanine floor in the unit.

The company originates from Ireland and has undergone significant expansion in the UK, with 97 stores across the country, the nearest to Basingstoke being in Reading and Farnborough.

The application states: “Smyths has identified a gap in provision that a store in the Basingstoke area would satisfy. This is likely to have occurred following the closure of Toys R Us in Brighton Hill Retail Park in March 2018.

This also addresses a gap in this type of large-scale toy retail offer which is otherwise not present in Basingstoke.”

The business says it operates a “unique trading model” which can only be successful from a retail warehouse format location and building, in order to sell bulky products and have wide aisles to allow trolley access.

The toy retailer also plans to offer baby and nursery products at the Basingstoke store, including car seats, cots, mattresses, high chairs, pushchairs and prams.

If granted permission, the store would create 30 new jobs which would be primarily sourced from the local community, which will increase to 60 during the Christmas period.

The store would open 9am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays and bank holidays, with Christmas opening hours extending to an 11pm closure Monday to Friday.