MORE than 100 parking spaces could be lost at Hereford's Old Market Shopping Centre if MandM Direct is allowed to move into the old Debenhams shop.

Planning documents reveal that 119 of 606 parking spaces at the shopping centre, opened in 2014, could be for MandM employees and exempt from charges.

British Land revealed last week that it wanted to turn the upper floors of the old Debenhams shop into offices for MandM Direct, with other parties interested in space on the ground floor.

Mike Tomkins, chairman at MandM Direct said the firm was a major local success story and, if Herefordshire Council grants planning permission, the move would "support the next phase of the company's journey".

That planning application has now been submitted to the council, which sees British Land, owners of the centre, as to vary a condition of the permission for the shopping centre.


And that condition is prior to any part of the development being occupied, details of the operation, management and charging tariff(s) of the proposed parking must be sent to the council.

Documents reveal that employees of the clothing retailer, with offices in Leominster and a warehouse in Moreton-on-Lugg, would be allowed to park without charge on weekdays, so 119 spaces would be for this purpose – 19.6 per cent of the total number of spaces.

A survey by consultants reveal that during the peak period of demand, 1pm on Thursday, May 12, there were 195 standard and 16 disabled spaces available across the car park.


The vast majority of those were on the top deck of the multi-storey car park, where it is expected that the majority of MandM Direct staff would park.

"It is therefore not considered that the removal of a charge from 119 spaces on a weekday will have any material impact on the existing operation of the car park," consultants said.

There would also be 40 cycle parking spaces on the ground floor.

The planning documents also say that if planners grant permission, it would bring a boost to surrounding businesses in the city centre, with around 250 workers using shops, services and other facilities around their working day.

Comments on planning application 221678 can be made until June 25, with planners setting July 15 as a target date for a decision.