Waitrose reveals plans to DOWNSIZE its Rushden store

The plans also include a new sublet unit for another tenant

By Stephanie Weaver
Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 4:59 pm
Waitrose at Crown Park, Rushden

Waitrose has revealed plans to downsize its Rushden store.

A planning application has been submitted for the superstore at the town's Crown Park, just off the A45 opposite Rushden Lakes.

It proposes division of the existing Waitrose branch into a smaller Waitrose store and a new sublet unit for a new tenant.

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The existing store windows which now form the new café space will have vinyl graphics applied as shown in this picture from the planning documents

The plans also include a new rooftop plant, a new E-comm Van Compound and new external seating area with alterations to the existing car park and existing facades, as well as new LED lights will replace existing building mounted and car park lighting.

The planning papers say: "This design and access statement has been prepared in support of a full planning application to split the existing Waitrose branch in Rushden into a smaller Waitrose store and a new sublet unit for a new tenant."

And they continue: "The new tenant is currently unknown but is expected to be a retail tenant but a further application will be required in relation to the details of their unit although some broad principles have been established here.

"In summary the Waitrose façade alterations include new door openings and the removal of some existing door openings along with the redecoration of all gutters and rainwater pipes, the metal column heads, MoE doors and louvres.

"A new column arrangement will be installed to replace the existing columns supporting the canopy in front of the new sublet unit entrance."

Proposed changes to the customer car park as well as the new external seating area will lead to a reduction of 47 spaces but as the car park is already very large and can still provide 400 spaces with no loss in special needs parking, the planning papers say this is not seen as an issue by the branch.

In conclusion, the papers state: "The building alterations will have the principal benefit of improving the brand image and visibility and maintaining this store as a prosperous shopping facility for the area.

"They will also allow Waitrose to provide an efficient E-commerce operation from this branch which will have a benefit to local customers who require this service.

"The car park will be a benefit to Waitrose customers by improving access to and from the car park for pedestrians.

"The improvements will also help to modernise the car park and bring this in line with the brand image but still be in keeping with the site character."

The Northants Telegraph asked Waitrose for a comment on the plans, which will be considered by North Northamptonshire Council, and a spokesman for the company said: "While we're proposing to sub-let a very small part of our shop, it will remain one of our biggest stores and our customers will still be able to find all their favourite products as well as some new additions."

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