Work is finally underway on a ?14 million scheme to deliver a brand new superstore in Bagshot, which will likely create more than 150 new jobs in the area.
Waitrose will move into the former Notcutts Garden Centre site next year after Notcutts decided not to take up its option on half the proposed new eco-store .
The ramshackle Notcutts site off the A30 London Road, towards the western end of the village, has been a feature of Bagshot for decades.
Jointly with Waitrose, Notcutts secured planning permission for a vast new store in February , which will be split into two separate units.
This application sought to amalgamate Notcutts? assortment of buildings into a single eco-friendly unit of around 6,500sq/m, twice the size of the existing floorspace.
Notcutts Bagshot ceased trading in April with a view to reopening in summer 2015 following demolition and then construction of the new store.
But in June, Notcutts issued a statement saying it would not be “viable” to return to its Bagshot home after carrying out a series of feasibility studies. The site was finally razed in July .
A stipulation in the application, however, means that the two units cannot be merged to form a single superstore. This means Notcutts, as owners of the site, must find a tenant for its portion of the store.
Leading the construction work is Midas Southern, in partnership with Troika Project Management.
Paul Strachan, director of Midas Southern, said: ?This is a fantastic new development for Bagshot, which involves substantial redevelopment of a brownfield site to provide many new jobs, and additional retail space in new, environmentally friendly buildings, while also offering space for another new store in the town.?
There will be parking for 338 cars at the newly designed centre. It is estimated that upon completion, the store will create around 160 new jobs for the area, although no indication has yet been made on whether they will be targeted at residents.
Midas and Troika are aiming to have the work completed by summer 2015 having previously worked on various multi-million pound schemes in the south east.
After more than a year in the making, the application went before Surrey Heath Borough Council?s planning committee back in February, where it was backed unanimously.
But four months later, Notcutts issued a statement announcing it had “regrettably concluded” a new garden store would not be viable.
?Notcutts have met with Surrey Heath Borough Council to inform them of this decision and will shortly commence a marketing campaign to find alternative occupiers for this retail unit,? it read, adding staff had been informed.
Chief operating officer Andrew Staff said: ?We are naturally disappointed not to be able to continue to trade in the area but Bagshot is well served by some fantastic local garden centres.
?The opening of the Waitrose store in 2015 will ensure local employment is boosted well beyond the number that we were able to employ.?
No indication has yet been made of any interest leasing the additional unit.