COUNCILLORS have lent their support to plans which could see Waitrose open its doors in the heart of Evesham.
Members of Evesham Town Council debated the proposals at a meeting on Monday, November 10 and overwhelmingly backed plans for the 18,000sq foot store on the current fire station site.
Under the plans, Evesham’s Fire Station would relocate next to the Evesham Leisure Centre on Abbey Road in order to provide a modern building for town firefighters.
Coun Richard Jones endorsed the scheme but expressed concern about fire engines leaving the proposed new site for an emergency.
“The only worry is that when they are racing out of there at 5.30pm for an emergency who is going to let them into the traffic on Abbey Road.” he said.
Coun Gerry O’Donnell allayed his fears and said the concerns had already been expressed and tackled in discussions
between Wychavon District Council and the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority.
“We would be muppets to stand in the way of this because it’s part of the chain of events which brings Waitrose to the town.” he said.
Among the other councillors signalling their approval were Coun Wendy Dyke who labelled the proposals as ‘great’.
In response to a question about the future of the Old Brewery car park, Coun O’Donnell confirmed it would belong to Waitrose.
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 store expected to open in early 2017.