Waitrose submits planning applications for North Walsham store

Waitrose has submitted its planning application to convert the former Focus DIY unit in Cromer Road, North Walsham, into a food store.

The supermarket giant announced last December that it wants to convert the existing shell into a Waitrose, creating 150 jobs.

Two applications - one for change of use and the other for signage - were formally submitted to North Norfolk District Council yesterday.

If approved Waitrose hopes to spend eight weeks on the conversion and open for business in October.

A total of 693 people attended a public exhibition held at the Methodist Church Hall in North Walsham's Grammar School Road in February. Of 676 comment forms returned, 653 indicated outright support for the proposals and 23 support with reservations, according to Waitrose.

James Gilhooley, Waitrose Head of Property, said: 'We wanted to ensure the final application we submitted was the right one for North Walsham and are confident this will deliver a quality Waitrose food shop that can make a positive contribution to the town.

'By bringing a vacant site back into use we can quickly deliver new local jobs and improved choice, but importantly encourage more businesses to invest here and help maintain a vibrant town centre.

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'Whilst we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from local residents and would like to thank everyone who provided feedback, we take nothing for granted and would encourage people who would like the scheme to happen to make their voices heard.'

The application reference number is: PF/12/0310.

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