PLANS have been approved for a new toy store, a builders’ yard and a gym to fill a vacant unit at an industrial estate in Poole.

Toys R Us at the Nuffield Industrial Estate closed last April after the toy chain collapsed into administration.

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

BCP Council has approved the proposals for the Poole store, which were prepared by Lambert Smith Hampton.

The unit will be split into three smaller units, with the first space occupied by South Coast Building Supplies. The second unit is set to be taken over 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 will be reduced to 226, with six accessible spaces, 12 parent and child spaces, and 10 pick-up spaces.

The parking will be shared by the three units.

In its planning statement, Lambert Smith Hampton stated 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 added: “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.”

BCP Council planning officer Chloe Oliver agreed. In a report accompanying the planning permission, she said the proposals “would also deliver benefits in terms of investment and provide employment opportunities within the borough that will contribute to the economy of the town.”

The development is due to provide a minimum of 70 jobs and a maximum of 100, whereas Toys R Us previously employed 35 full-time members of staff, Ms Oliver said.