MAJOR plans to bring Waitrose into the heart of Evesham have been submitted to Wychavon District Council.
The supermarket giant, together with developer Simons, revealed the latest development on Tuesday (November 4) and confirmed the new 18,000 sq foot store would create up to 150 jobs.
Under the plans, Evesham’s Fire Station would relocate to a site next to the Evesham Leisure Centre on Abbey Road in order to provide a modern building for town firefighters.
Waitrose and Simons, together with Wychavon District Council first brought forward plans to regenerate the site of the town’s existing fire station and Old Brewery car park last year.
The planning application followed a public exhibition at Evesham Town Hall last November.
Of the 704 feedback forms received, nearly 88 per cent of Vale residents were in support of bringing Waitrose to Evesham.
According to the proposals, coach parking on the current car park will be relocated to a site off Abbey Road with a pick up and drop off point on Merstow Green.
Council chiefs at Wychavon District Council also confirmed the development will see the Evesham Mop move to a new home.
Talks are taking place between the District Council, Evesham Town Council and Worcestershire County Council over a new location for the popular show.
Nigel Keen, Waitrose director of development, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring major new investment to Evesham which can encourage shoppers to remain in the town and help it to thrive in the future.”
Jack Hegarty, managing director at Wychavon added: “It’s great news that we’ve reached this important milestone in the process of bringing Waitrose to Evesham.
“This plan will bring more jobs and investment into the town centre and is a key part of our plan to reinvigorate the town.”
VECTA Chairman Tony Rowland told the Observer the arrival of Waitrose could lead to a ‘reversal of fortune’ for the town’s High Street.
“This is good news as something needs to be done to reverse the fortune of Evesham High Street. We need extra supermarket capacity in the town.
“I feel the arrival of Waitrose could be the start of a symbiotic relationship with other retailers and traders which has happened in other towns such as Malvern.
“My only concern is the potential traffic on Abbey Road.” he added.
Should the planning application be successful, construction on the new fire station will commence in spring 2015, with it open in spring 2016.
Work on Waitrose will begin shortly afterwards in summer 2016 with the shop expected to open in early 2017.
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