Oundle Waitrose will boost town’s economy, claim developers

A computer generated image of how the store could look like
A computer generated image of how the store could look like

A planning application for a Waitrose store in Oundle has been submitted, with developers claiming the supermarket will provide a boost to town’s economy.

The application for the 1,300 square metre foodstore in East Road has been submitted, and if passed, could bring 120 jobs to the area.

Bosses from Waitrose say it is their intention to recruit locally, will look to approach businesses in the town to have their products stocked in the store, and hope the supermarket will keep customers local.

Roland Bohn, Waitrose’s development surveyor, said: “We’ve done research which shows that about 74 per cent of customers in the catchment area go to the likes of Peterborough, Corby, and Stamford to do their shopping.

“Part of the vitality of a town centre is how it retains people and we think a Waitrose in Oundle will do that.

“We found that the site matched our needs and we think we will satisfy adequately Oundle’s needs too.

“We will look to include signage that points the way to the town centre, and I think we can work together with traders in Oundle to promote the town centre.

“We will look to integrate ourselves within the community.”

The store, which will be built about five minute’s walk away from Oundle’s Market Place, will boast 157 car parking spaces, with two hours free customer parking.

Deliveries will access the store from the north via the A605 and Station Road, which Waitrose say will minimise traffic disruption.

Its likely opening hours will be 8.30am to 8pm Mondays to Thursdays and also Saturdays, Fridays from 8.30am to 9pm, and Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

An idea for a cafe in the store has also mooted, but no plans have been set in stone.

Now that the planning application is submitted, it is hoped it will be decided by East Northamptonshire Council in Autumn, and if passed, works could start on the site at the start of 2013 with a view to opening the store in early 2014.

Andrew Byrne, planning manager from developers Linden Homes Ltd, said: “The application is for a redundant site that has been brownfield land for a number of years.

“If the store is built, it will bring the site back into economic use.”

A public consultation was carried out in May, with 579 responses received about the proposal.

A total of 364, or about 60 per cent, approved of the plans, while 84, or about 14 per cent said they did not want the store.

A further 119, or about 20 per cent, said they approve of the proposal but have some issues about it.

For more information, visit www.waitroseoundle.co.uk.

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