Councillors have been urged to reject plans for a £5.4 million Next megastore at Kingsway West Retail Park over concerns it could destroy city centre trade.
The company re-submitted plans for the giant store earlier this year after a previous bid was rejected by Dundee City Council in 2013 as it feared the development would draw business away from the city centre.
Currently, outlets in the retail park are not allowed to sell fashion goods in order to protect city centre traders.
But Next is asking the council to relax these rules – and says it will keeps its Overgate store open until at least 2024 if the local authority agrees.
The company said its dual-form home and garden store would create up to 125 new jobs if it is given the green light.
The new store would expand into the premises currently occupied by Maplin.
Next currently operates a home store in the retail park plus clothing stores in the Overgate and Gallagher Retail Park.
The proposed new store would be in units three and four of the retail park , on the opposite side to where its current premises are located.
However, one influential organisation said it had objected to the company’s plans when approached by The Courier.
Jack Searle from Dundee Civic Trust said conditions for city centre traders have deteriorated since the council originally knocked back Next’s plans three years ago.
The Civic Trust lodged an official objection in 2013 and has also objected to the revised Next proposals.
He said: “Things have changed but for the worse.
“BHS has gone down the tubes and the inroads made by online retailers is still going up.”
He added: “A lot of traders have moved away from the city centre and the only regulation is for fashion traders.
“The council’s own consultant said if fashion retailers go it would damage the town centre.”
Mr Searle said stagnant wages and Dundee’s declining population mean there is no demand for the new store.
In Next’s application, it states it will accept an obligation to keep its Overgate store open until 2024 if consent is given.
The supporting statement says: “Next wishes to demonstrate its commitment to Dundee City Centre by proposing that the fresh planning obligation include an obligation that until December 2023, the sale of clothing and footwear may only take place where the tenant of Unit 3 (in the retail park) is also the tenant of a retail unit within Dundee City Centre and from which the sale of clothing and footwear is also taking place.”
Next was asked to comment but had not done so at the time of going to press.
Dundee City Council’s development management committee will decide on the application on August 15.
After the council rejected Next’s plans in 2013, the company focused on developing a new store in Kirkcaldy.