A MAJOR refurbishment scheme for Marks and Spencer's Woolston distribution depot has been approved by planning chiefs.

The Kingsland Grange is set to undergo a transformation that will see it partially demolished and renovated inside after approval for the scheme was passed by Warrington Borough Council's planning department.

Offices at the storage and distribution centre will be bulldozed, resulting in the gross floor area of the depot being reduced to 9,960sq m from 10,495sq m, while the interior will be altered and modified.

Car parking spaces at the site will be reduced to 82 from 135 while associated external works to fences and gates will also be carried out.

Applicant JCAM Commercial Real Estate Property's design and access statement says the development will 'optimise the site's potential'.

The statement added: "The proposed application makes good use of the existing infrastructure by developing an infill site in an existing community which has good public transport links.

"The proposals will enhance the local area aesthetically, also improving efficiency and convenience for the operations on the site."

Warrington Borough Council's highways department had raised some concerns over lorries being close proximity to parked cars and the impact of the traffic flow from Hardwick Grange but did not object to the scheme.

A statement from the highways department added: "Highways acknowledge that the presence of HGVs and car parking in a constrained area is not ideal.

"However the revised site layout is considered to be acceptable as the development has provided an increased area for HGVs to manoeuvre and satisfactory parking provision.

"Highways are concerned that the access to the south east of the site is narrow and does not accommodate two-way flow of HGVs and standard cars.

"Priority should be given to vehicles entering this area of the site to avoid congestion spilling on the adopted highway."