A new Sports Direct store in Stevenage has moved a step closer after two planning applications were approved.

The planning applications, submitted back in May for unit 7B in the Roaring Meg Retail Park, were approved at a meeting of Stevenage Borough Council's Planning Committee on Tuesday, October 3.

One application sought permission to adjust the internal layout of the unit, which has been empty since 2007, by adding a mezzanine floor.

The second application sought to change the permitted retail uses of the unit, which until now has prevented the sale of fashion clothing and footwear.

Sports Direct wants to run a USC fashion and clothing concession from the store, which require the change in permission.

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With both applications approved, work on preparing the unit for Sports Direct to move in can progress.

The existing Sports Direct store in Stevenage is in the Forum, in the town centre, and has a lease which expires in February 2024. Given the proposed redevelopment of that site, the chain was looking for a new location in Stevenage.

According to planning documents, staff at the town centre store would be able to move across to work at the new unit, and the additional floor space gained as part of the relocation would mean that additional staff would be hired too.

Furnitureland was the last occupant of unit 7B, when it was combined in one unit with 7A. Unit 7A is currently occupied by Hobbycraft.