Hundreds apply for Waitrose jobs as store announces November opening date in North Walsham

Interviews are due to start this week for 150 jobs at north Norfolk's new Waitrose store, which will open on Thursday November 29.

More than 600 local people have applied to work at the new store, which will be based in the former Focus DIY on Cromer Road, North Walsham.

Conversion work will start at the site on October 15 although some preparation will begin before then, according to a spokesman.

Waitrose has announced that the manager will be Ashley Broad, who is currently in charge of the chain's Ely branch.

Mr Broad, who lives near Thetford, has previously worked in the supermarket's Eaton and Wymondham branches

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He said the calibre of applications received had been extremely high, adding: 'It is encouraging that there seems to be genuine excitement about our arrival and we can't wait to play our part in contributing to the future success of the town.'

All new employees will become partners in the John Lewis Partnership, entitling them to a say in how the business is run, shopping and leisure discounts and a share in profits in the form of an annual bonus. This year every employee received 14pc of their annual wage in bonus, the equivalent of seven weeks pay.

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Waitrose was granted change-of-use planning permission by North Norfolk District Council on July 13.

Developers Petros/Hartfield, who are interested in land on North Walsham's Midland Road for a supermarket, lodged an 11th hour objection to the firm's application. Sainsbury's, which has a supermarket in the town, also objected. Both objectors threatened legal action if the application was approved.

A council spokesman said the statutory three-month period, during which the permission could be legally challenged, was due to expire on October 13. As of the end of last week there had been no challenge.

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