A DELAYED development in the regeneration of Hoyland is to move forward with general retailer B&M now confirmed as tenant for a major new store as councillors work to bring about more changes.

The council has been working with development firm Resilienti for several years to modernise Hoyland and that has already seen the market redeveloped, a Boyes department store open and a new car park created.

But the scheme was dealt a blow when plans for a Netto store on Market Street were scrapped as Sainsbury’s changed its plans nationally for a joint venture with the discount chain.

However, it has now been confirmed B&M will take over the whole building, with fitting out due to start soon, with the expectation of an autumn opening in a move which will created around 30 new jobs.

There are now two new challenges for the area, however, which has lost its Post Office branch and is to see its Central Co-op supermarket close at the end of this month.

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Councillors representing the area are now actively working to address both issues, with Coun Jim Andrews stating they were hoping a new location for a Post Office counter could be found.

It had been in a pharmacy on Market Street but the organisation has now lost that accommodation and, Coun Andrews said they were searching for an alternative.

The former town hall which houses the Co-op is now in private ownership, with planning permission currently pending which could see apartments created on the upper floors.

Coun Andrews has floated the idea that Barnsley Council could be in a position to acquire the lease to the ground floor, if terms could be reached with the owner, which would give the authority better control over how it was used.

The Co-op’s decision to close the shop had been a surprise, but Coun Andrews pointed out that outside market days Hoyland was now without an independent butcher or greengrocer, making shopping more difficult for locals.

An option for the future of the Co-op’s premises could be to create smaller units, increasing the variety available for shoppers, he said.

Coun Andrews said: “B&M is good news for Hoyland, naysayers were saying it wasn’t coming. They are now moving in for the shop fit and hopefully it will be under way quite soon.

“What we are also doing is pushing the Post Office, there are people wanting it,” he said.

* Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.