Proposals to create a new Marks & Spencer superstore at Eclipse Park, near junction 7 of the M20, went on show at the end of last month to gain the public’s feedback prior to a planning application being submitted.

A public exhibition was held at the Hilton Hotel, Eclipse Park on February 22, and the plans by Marks & Spencer [M&S] and Gallagher Properties would, if approved by Maidstone Borough Council, create 300 full and part-time positions when the store opens.

The M&S proposals follow a decision by Waitrose not to proceed with its plans for a store on the site after they gained planning permission. M&S requires a new store that is the same footprint, with a 300-space car park.

It will have striking design, incorporating high quality materials, as above, and provide approximately 5,760m2 (62,000ft2) of sales area. Subject to final decisions, the current thinking is that the store would offer:

  • Food hall – 1,050m2 (11,300ft2)
  • General merchandising (fashion and household) – 4,413m2 (47,500ft2)
  • Hospitality (café) – 297m2 (3,200ft2)

Gallagher Properties’ Nick Yandle said:

“The combination of a Marks & Spencer and NEXT at Eclipse Park would improve Maidstone’s retail offer as the county town to local residents and people from across a wider area of Kent… It would send out a positive message about the town as a location for business.”

Find out more about the M&S plans at: