Bid lodged which could see superstore revamp and extension for cafe

The Waitrose at Eaton, on the edge of Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The Waitrose at Eaton, on the edge of Norwich. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

A revamp could be on the cards for a Norwich superstore, if newly submitted plans are granted permission.

Plans for the Waitrose supermarket at Eaton have been lodged with Norwich City Council.

Waitrose is seeking permission to make changes to the lobby at the back of the Church Lane superstore and to extend the store’s cafe.

Permission is also being sought to make some alterations to the service delivery yard at the superstore, which is accessed via Eaton Street.

Documents lodged with City Hall outline how Waitrose wants to demolish the existing entrance to the store from its car park and to replace it with a new store entrance.

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In those documents, B&R Architects state that: “The proposal to demolish the current entrance is to improve access for all to the store through increased circulation space, removal of doors and to enhance the appearance, by removing the dated glass lobby and associated canopy.”

As part of the plans, Waitrose also wants to make a “small” extension to the cafe at the front of the store.

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Those plans would see the current exterior walls extended, with a small planting bed on Church Lane needing to be removed to allow that to happen.

The plans, if approved, would also see changes to part of the store’s car park.

New bays for delivery vans would be created in a small section of car park to the left of the rear entrance.

The planning documents say that change is needed because of the increased demand for delivery services.

And they say that: “Car park alterations are proposed in an area considered to be away from the main customer areas of demand.”

A further proposal is for new covered trolley bays, which Waitrose says would “improve customer experience”.

The superstore is in one of the city council’s designated conservation areas.

But the architects say they consider that the additions and alterations “enhance the context and preserve the retail character of the existing building”.

A spokeswoman for Waitrose & Partners, said: “The application was submitted a number of weeks ago with view to making some changes to the shop in the future. Our focus right now though is ensuring our customers get the food and essentials they need so any plans will remain on hold in light of the current situation.”

A decision on whether to grant permission for the changes will be taken by the city council at a future date.

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