POLL: Waitrose move on to North Walsham site. Would lack of staff parking put you off working for them?

A Waitrose team has moved equipment on site ready to start the six-week conversion, beginning next week, of the former North Walsham Cromer Road Focus DIY store.

Interviews for 150 jobs at the new store, due to open on November 29, have finished and a spokesman said people would be offered posts shortly.

Waitrose earlier reported that more than 600 people had applied for the jobs.

The spokesman confirmed that there would be no initial on-site staff parking because the limited 154-spaces available had to be reserved for customers until demand became clearer.

The spokesman said: 'When the branch opens, we expect it to be quite busy and there will be no on-site parking for partners (employees). Because of the limited size of the site, the customer car park will need to be reserved for customers.

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'However once trade settles down the branch management team, led by branch manager, Ashley Broad, will look at quieter times when they can allow partners to park in the customer car park. They are also exploring opportunities for off-street parking arrangements in the local area.'

The spokesman added: 'Our policy is to always recruit as locally as possible which ensures partners have local knowledge. This also means that partners are likely to be able to get to work by walking, cycling, or using local public transport - as part of the scheme two bus stops are being installed.

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'The new branch will be operating a green travel plan which identifies and encourages people to use sustainable ways to get to work such as car sharing, public transport, walking and cycling, and a partner in branch will be responsible for looking after this.

'It is also important to put this into perspective as, although we will be employing up to 150 local people, only around a fifth of partners will be working at any one time and only a proportion of these again will travel by car.'

Temporary traffic lights were in place over the weekend and yesterday on Cromer Road, outside the new store. The spokesman said these were to enable a power substation to be installed this week ahead of the branch opening.

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