A NEW toy store could take over part of a unit in Poole that has been lying empty since the closure of Toys R Us last year.

The toy chain collapsed last February, leading to the closure of the store at the Nuffield Industrial Estate in April.

Now plans to subdivide the large unit into three smaller ones have been submitted by FI-Real Estate Management, which was appointed to secure new tenants for a portfolio of 31 former Toys R Us stores.

According to the firm, Toys R Us currently has secured debt of £263m.

The plans for the Nuffield Industrial Estate unit have been prepared by Lambert Smith Hampton and are currently with Poole council.

The proposal is to split the unit into three, with the first unit occupied by South Coast Building Supplies, the second by Smyths Toys, and the third by JD Gyms.

Each new unit will be approximately the same size and have its own access to the front for customers and at the rear for deliveries.

The car park for Toys R Us had 340 spaces, but this number would be reduced to 226, with six accessible spaces, 12 parent and child spaces, and 10 pick-up spaces. The parking would be shared by the three units.

In a planning statement, Lambert Smith Hampton states the “prompt re-use of the vacated Toys R Us building will bring confidence to the local economic market through increased employment opportunities to parts of the local community”.

It adds: “The re-use of the building will minimise the potential for anti-social behaviour on the empty property and car park and secure a safe and well-designed built environment that provides a long term solution to the site.”

Toys R Us appointed insolvency specialist Moorfields to handle its administration last year when it was unable to pay a £15m tax bill.

After failing to find a buyer for the business, around 100 stores were closed and 3,000 staff members made redundant.