PLANS for a major new retail development in Bagshot have been lodged with Surrey Heath Borough Council following a lengthy consultation process. Waitrose is proposing to create a new 21,000 sq ft food store at the site of London Road garden centre Notcutts, which will also see its ageing store receive a complete revamp as part of the deal.
The joint plans were submitted to the council at the end of last week after indicative drawings for the ?14 million proposals were published in January.
More than 650 people attended a public exhibition in February where 401 representations were made, of which 86% ? 344 people ? came out in support of the development.
Some 8% ? 32 people ? opposed the plans and a further 6% ? 26 people ? gave no opinion.
On Monday, the developers published the results of the feedback which has been used to inform a number changes to the original proposals before they were submitted to the council.
These revisions include a reduction in the height of the roof to minimise its visual impact from nearby Jenkins Hill on the approach to the store. It is thought the new Waitrose will create around 160 new jobs while Notcutts will continue to employ around 45 people at a new 27,500 sq ft store adjoining Waitrose.
Andy King, Notcutts? chief executive, said its Bagshot branch, one of 19 in the UK, was in great need of modernisation and investment to ensure it remained competitive.
?Feedback from many of our customers has been very positive and they have welcomed the opportunity our partnership with Waitrose will bring to redevelop the garden centre on the existing site.?
The single greatest area of concern was traffic with 121 people noting work would be required to deal with an influx of new vehicles, particularly traffic light phasing at the centre?s junction with the A30 London Road.
Around 30 people said the development could impact on shops and businesses in the village centre while a further 22 raised both positives and negatives in respect of the design and frontage with some feeling that the building was aesthetically unappealing and out-of-character with the area.
A traffic survey prepared by consultant Arup said the proposed development would ?not significantly add? to the number of vehicles on the A30.
However, both Notcutts and Waitrose have pledged to work with highways authority Surrey County Council to consider how traffic light sequencing could be improved to mitigate any impact on the A30.
Nigel Keen, Waitrose?s development director, said: ?We were encouraged the majority of those who recorded their comments share our confidence a new Waitrose food shop could bring substantial benefits to the area.
?We would welcome the opportunity to become part of the Bagshot community and play a positive role in the creation of new local jobs, providing more choice and encouraging more people to shop locally.?
for more info, see this website: http://www.notcutts-waitrose-bagshot.info/