PLANS to transform the disused Toys R Us site in Oldbury into a new retail park with two shops - a leisure unit which could be a cinema or gym - and a drive-thru restaurant have been submitted to planners.

Under proposals from New Street LLP the former Toys R Us building on Wolverhampton Road would be split into two shops - one which would have a garden centre attached.

Notes to planners state "The applicant is in contract negotiations with occupiers for both proposed units and the occupier of Unit 2 requires a garden centre which is also included in the application.

"Both users are predominantly non-food retailers although they do have ancillary food/convenience retailing also."

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A new leisure unit would be built as well as a drive-thru cafe/restaurant which "has been designed with a specific occupier in mind with whom discussions are currently being held."

The application states: "The proposed new unit falls within Class D2 which encompasses a range of uses including cinemas, gyms, bingo halls and sport/recreation.

It goes on: "The proposed use would also make a valuable contribution to fitness and recreation facilities in the local area.

"The construction of the new leisure unit on the retail park would be very suitable for the proposed use, both in terms of the type of space provided and the high levels of accessibility to the target market by public transport as well as by car."

It also states of the leisure unit that: "This element of the scheme is currently speculative and there is no secured occupier."

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Notes to planners state: "The application site currently comprises of a vacant retail store, which was originally constructed in the late 1980s.

"The existing building on the application site was previously occupied by Toys R Us but following the collapse of the company in early 2018, the store was subsequently closed down in April 2018.

It goes on: "The wider site currently has only one operational business which is a McDonald’s drive thru and is open 24/7.

"This has been in operation since the late 1990s."

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The retail park would boast 354 spaces.

Access would be via the existing access point off Birchfield Lane, with an exit on Wolverhampton Road.

The application was submitted to Sandwell Council on July 23 by the Birmingham-based firm and will be considered by planners.

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