PLANS for a new Waitrose food store in Evesham are moving forward with a planning application set to be submitted within a matter of weeks.

Wychavon District Council and the food chain are hoping to regenerate the site of the town’s existing fire station and Old Brewery Car Park, opposite Merstow Green, to make way for the new food store and 170 car parking spaces.

If successful, the plans would see Evesham's fire station relocate to a site next to the leisure centre in Abbey Road and create up to 150 new jobs.

Vic Allison, deputy managing director at Wychavon District Council, said: “The Council and Waitrose remain committed to bringing a new Waitrose to Evesham and we believe the store will be of major benefit to Evesham town centre.

"A planning application is expected shortly.”

Meanwhile Jack Hegarty, Managing Director at Wychavon District Council, has reassured residents the council has not withdrawn its investment in the Waitrose in Droitwich.

"We are looking to replicate this model in Evesham because it has been so successful in Droitwich," he said.

"We are committed to regenerating Evesham including investing in and promoting the town centre.

"The finite details of the scheme are still being worked on following the public exhibition earlier in the year and residents will have the opportunity to further comment soon on this through the planning system.

"We have a legal responsibility to determine planning applications irrespective of any funding model such as most recently our investment in the £10m new Evesham Leisure Centre."

If successful, the aim will be to construct the new fire station this summer, with it open during summer next year.

Work on Waitrose would begin shortly afterwards with the shop opening in spring 2016.