Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Business to leave village due to uncertainty over site

AN international clothing supplier is to leave Goring after almost two decades.

Peruvian Connection, an American company, is moving its UK headquarters to new premises at Didcot at the end of the year.

It is currently based at Thames Court, a small business park off High Street, but is relocating because the site could be redeveloped for housing.

The land is earmarked for about 14 homes in the village’s draft neighbourhood plan, which is expected to go to a referendum later this year. The document says it should remain in commercial use until at least 2023, when Peruvian Connection’s tenancy was due to expire, and then be marketed to businesses for at least a year to prove it is no longer viable as a trading premises.

When the plan was first drawn up, the company said it wanted to stay until the end of its lease.

However, it is now taking advantage of a break clause in its contract with Thames Properties, the landowner, because it wants to find somewhere with better long-term prospects. The firm, which sells upmarket mail order knitwear, came to Goring in 1998, three years after its expansion into Europe.

It is one of the village’s largest businesses and employs about 50 people, of whom about one-fifth live locally. The site serves as a warehouse for its European operations and it also has a call centre employing both English- and German-speaking staff.

A spokesman for Thames Properties said it was “disappointed” by the announcement but it understood the company’s position and thanked it for being an “excellent” tenant.

If the site is redeveloped for housing, the plan says at least 10 of the new dwellings should have one or two bedrooms to meet demand for smaller, cheaper properties aimed at young families or older residents who are downsizing.

Peruvian Connection’s only UK store used to be based in Bell Street, Henley, but it moved to Chelsea five years ago.

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