UPDATE: Reaction to announcement that third developer wants to build a supermarket in North Walsham
A third developer has thrown its hat into the North Walsham supermarket ring.
Scott Properties wants planning permission for a store up to 45,000 sq ft, with an associated petrol filling station, at the former Marrick's Wire Ropes site on Cromer Road.
The firm, which will hold a two-day consultation on its plans next week, says it is in talks with 'several national food retailers'.
The store - about the same size or a little larger than the town's existing Sainsbury's - would create more than 250 jobs.
The site is only a few yards away from the former Focus DIY store where Waitrose hopes to open a 21,000 sq ft supermarket in October, offering 150 jobs.
Waitrose submitted its change-of-use plans to North Norfolk District Council this week.
Scott director James Tucker said they saw their scheme as 'complementary' to Waitrose and had been looking at the town since they 'became aware of retailer demand' last summer.
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Waitrose's bid, made public earlier this year, flushed out developers Petros/Hartfield who are in talks with Tesco over an undeclared site on Midland Road where they also want to build a store the same size as, or slightly larger than, Sainsbury's, creating about 200 jobs.
The Scott proposal has been greeted with caution by town leaders.
North Walsham Mayor Vivienne Uprichard said the people of North Walsham would probably warmly welcome another petrol station as competition for the only other garage in the town, run by Sainsbury's.
But the town council had serious reservations about possible traffic problems on Cromer Road.
Mrs Uprichard added: 'We're also worried about the possible impact on the town centre. One more supermarket is one thing - but two more?'
Eric Seward, town and North Norfolk District Councillor, said there would also be concern about the possible closure of the small Links Road, adjoining the site, which is used by Bradfield Road residents and as an emergency route out of the town's industrial estate.
District councillor Virginia Gay, whose North Walsham ward includes the site, said she wanted to hear precise details of what would be sold in the proposed store, what impact that might have on existing businesses, and what the developers planned to do for the town.
Maya Stockdale, chairman of North Walsham Chamber of Trade, said she would reserve judgement until they had been given a presentation on the proposals next Wednesday.
Mr Tucker said North Walsham was 'on the radar' of a number of national retailers because there was a: 'widely-held belief that a lot of residents of North Walsham and the surrounding areas leave the town to do their shopping in other nearby centres.'
Scott would be submitting a detailed application 'shortly' and would be holding a public consultation at St Benet's Hall and St Nicholas Room, Vicarage Street, North Walsham, on March 29 (10am-8pm) and March 30 (9.30am-4pm).
Scott Properties, based in Thorrington, Essex, advertises itself as an independently-owned property developer with active sites throughout East Anglia, specialising in obtaining planning permission for commercial development sites and 'packaging these up into a 'ready to go' product for our clients.'