Almost 200 people have responded to a consultation showing their support for plans to relocate TK Maxx in Stevenage town centre to the Roaring Meg Retail Park.

The existing TK Maxx, in The Forum, needs a new home as it has been served formal notice to vacate by its landlord, who plan to redevelop the block in line with the council’s wider proposals for the regeneration of the town centre.

Stevenage residents have given strong support for plans for a combined TK Maxx and HomeSense store at the former Toys R Us unit in the Roaring Meg.

The store has said this is the "only option where TK Maxx can viably relocate to" and therefore "allow continued trade and retention of key local jobs within Stevenage".

The proposal will safeguard existing jobs, in addition to the creation of further new jobs for the combined stores.

Many of the existing jobs at TK Maxx are taken by Stevenage residents and their jobs would transfer to the new store.

One resident taking part in the consultation said: “I fully support the opening of TK Maxx at Roaring Meg Stevenage. I am a regular customer at the present location, live locally and would definitely be in favour of a larger location with parking. I hope that planning permission will be granted.”

Another said: “We need to keep TK Maxx in Stevenage. It would be a disgrace if we allowed them to leave.”

On the introduction of HomeSense, one respondent said: “I would be thrilled to welcome a HomeSense store in Stevenage. I love seeing their vast range of products showcased online and on social media and I always wish that there was a store near me that I could visit. I’m very excited for this and really hope that the plans go ahead.”

A TK Maxx spokesperson said: "We hope that councillors on the Planning Committee will be able to support this planning application as they did with the recent M&S, as unfortunately, otherwise TK Maxx will have no choice but to leave Stevenage altogether, resulting in the loss of jobs and associated economic benefits, in these increasingly uncertain times."