A PLAN for a new retailer to take over the city's Homebase store could move a step closer if councillors approve plans this week.

It was announced in December last year that The Range could be moving into the DIY and garden centre in Hylton Road after an application was submitted to the council.

Worcester City Council's planning committee meets this week to decide whether to scrap a 33-year-old ruling which prohibited business other than Homebase from trading from the site.

READ MORE: The Range may replace Homebase shop, sparking job concerns

Planning permission was granted to Homebase by the council in 1986 with the firm condition meaning The Range has had to apply to change the use of the building to allow a greater variety of goods to be sold.

Homebase announced last summer it would be shutting poor-performing stores across the country by spring 2019 with the Worcester part of the closure plans.

MWA Planning & Development Consultancy, the planning agent for The Range, said if it was successful in getting planning permission, its takeover of the store would create 85 jobs - compared to the 35 staff Homebase currently employs.

A spokesman for the agent told the Worcester News in December: "The Range will replace Homebase as the sole occupier of the unit but the variation as proposed would not exclude other retailers from occupying the unit should at some point in the future The Range decide to vacate.

"The Range is not seeking a personal permission only a variation in the range of goods which can be sold to meet its business model and somewhat wider range of goods sold compared with Homebase."

The city council's planning committee meets on Thursday (February 21) to make a decision.