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Last Updated:  Thursday, 13 March, 2003, 16:53 GMT
Company opposed to K Village plan
Former K Shoes factory
The K Village centre is a former factory for K Shoes
The owners of Kendal's main shopping centre have criticised plans to expand the K Village factory-shops outlet.

At a public inquiry hearing on Thursday, Ethel Austin Properties, which owns the Westmorland shopping centre, attacked the proposal to treble the size of the K outlet.

The company claims a larger K Village would undermine the economic viability of shops in Kendal's main streets, by taking shoppers too far outside the core retail area of town.

A traffic consultant, Darren Oldham, told the inquiry that K Village is currently poorly served by bus routes and too far from the railway station.

He said expansion would cause increased traffic congestion, as the K Village is too far from the town centre for shoppers to walk between the two.

Mr Oldham argued that any new retail development could be put in better sites - but he conceded under cross-examination that many of these suffered the similar shortcomings to K Village.

More floor space

Almost 300 people in Kendal have objected to plans to demolish the K Village shopping centre and replace it with a larger factory outlet centre.

Some businesses oppose the 38m project because they fear it will damage trade in the town centre.

The new centre would mean a three-fold increase in shopping floor space and a car park for 533 vehicles.

The Guinea Group, which hopes its plan will get the go-ahead, says the chance of a bargain will attract more shoppers to Kendal.

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