Waitrose plan store for Essex town

UPMARKET food chain Waitrose has confirmed it will open a store in an Essex town if plans to convert a former DIY outlet are approved by councillors tonight.

Roddy Ashworth

UPMARKET food chain Waitrose has confirmed it will open a store in an Essex town if plans to convert a former DIY outlet are approved by councillors tonight.

The move into Colchester would see the quality retailer trading from the former Glyn Webb store in St Andrews Avenue, as predicted exclusively in the EADT in April.

The new Waitrose supermarket would have a shopping area of 23,000sq ft and offer 222 car parking spaces.


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Work is planned to start on converting the building in January next year and it is due to open its doors to customers in October.

It is believed that up to 150 jobs would be created for the local community if the firm's bid is successful.

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While Waitrose only formally signed up yesterday, the developers - St. Andrew's Avenue LLP, assisted by Aquila Developments Ltd - have already had an application to open a supermarket on the site recommended for approval by planning officers at Colchester Borough Council.

It will be discussed at a meeting of the council's planning committee this evening, where members will decide whether or not the supermarket can move into the building.

Nigel Keen, Waitrose's director of development, said: “There is a real passion for quality food here and we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring Waitrose to Colchester for the first time so people can discover more about our brand.

“We pride ourselves on becoming part of the fabric of a town and are looking forward to playing an important role in adding to the vibrancy of the town and offering more choice for the local community.”

Tony Chambers, on behalf of the developers, added: “We are delighted Waitrose has committed itself to the scheme.

“We believe this will create a real focal point for people in Colchester and provide them with key services at the heart of their community.”

A spokesman said the shop would offer a wide range of quality fresh foods and groceries, an extensive wine collection, specialist meat, fish and cheese counters together with a bakery and delicatessen.

He added, however, that it had not been decided whether it would run an online ordering and delivery service.

“Those details haven't been sorted out yet, but it is definitely something we will consider. It is something we are doing in a number of our stores now,” he said.

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