A PROPOSAL to extend the retail park at Malvern Link should be refused, says the town's civic society.

Consolidated Property Wilmslow Limited of Cheshire has applied for planning permission to enlarge the retail park off Roman Way.

The application is for a two-storey extension to the existing retail terrace, next to the unit occupied by Boots, together with the

creation of 50 extra customer car parking spaces. The extension will provide 1,208 square metres of floor space.

The retail park was originally built in the mid-1990s, and has been the subject of two expansions in recent years, creating six additional retail units.

But Malvern Civic Society said that Malvern Hills District Council, which will decide the fate of the application, should turn it down.

In its submission, the civic society said: "Car parking spaces are being removed and replaced at the back of the site, so whilst it is argued that there is a gain of 50 spaces, 89 spaces are new and at the back of the development. The new spaces are not easily or safely accessible.

"This will be the third expansion of the Malvern Retail Park in recent years. Congestion is already a major problem causing traffic to back up onto Townsend Way and on occasions back to the roundabout, so causing access problems on both Worcester Road and Townsend Way.

In a separate development retail giant Marks and Spencer has said it will not shut its superstore on the retail park after its new store at Worcester Woods opens.

At a meeting last month, members of Malvern Town Council voiced fears that the Malvern branch might be shut down once the new store is completed.

But this week a company spokesman said: “We are planning to bring an exciting new Marks and Spencer store to Worcester as part of the new Worcester Woods retail scheme. We’d like to reassure customers that no existing stores are planned to close as a result.”

Consolidated Property has opposed the Worcester Woods proposal, saying it will have "a significant adverse impact" on existing retail facilities..