Green light for Worcester's £20m Waitrose

Waitrose: heading to Worcester

Waitrose: heading to Worcester

First published in News
Last updated
Evesham Journal: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

WAITROSE is coming to Worcester - after a massive new £20 million store off London Road was given the green light.

The supermarket giant has secured planning permission to finally bring its first ever outlet to the city, creating 240 jobs.

It means all the 'big four' supermarket players will now have a presence in Worcester, with Waitrose set to take-up a huge 40,000 sq ft store at the old Ebenezer Baylis print works.

That will make it nearly double the size of the 25,000 sq ft Malvern Waitrose.

It was voted through unanimously by Worcester City Council's planning committee yesterday, with the chairman Cllr Geoff Williams calling it a "major investment".

It was backed after lengthy debates over traffic congestion in London Road.

During the meeting Bob Pender, from the county council's highways department, said two extensive surveys had been done over the impact on roads.

He said it would mean drivers heading down London Road into the city are delayed by an extra 19 seconds, and for those going up it towards the Oak Apple it would be 27 seconds.

"All the research nationally shows food stores generate 10 per cent of 'new traffic' on a route," he said.

"The rest comes from existing passers-by, like people dropping off the kids at school, or those who take a diversion, for example people who would otherwise use another supermarket.

"There will be an impact on the roads but it will be limited - this is not a gridlock situation by any means."

During the debate Cllr Richard Boorn, who represents the area, said congestion in London Road "is not acceptable now" and claimed residents are being "treated with utter contempt".

Cllr Steve Mackay said if there was "any lingering doubt" the committee should think again but others, like Tory David Wilkinson, said there was "no reason" to refuse it.

"I think a lot of the problems with traffic are created at Sidbury, rather than anything higher up the road," he said.

Cllr Williams, as chairman, hailed it as "great news" for the city.

"This is a major retailer prepared to make a major investment in Worcester, it's great news," he said.

A total of 49 objections had been submitted, including one from Asda and another from The Spetchley Estate, which wants to create a new retail park off Newtown Road featuring a John Lewis.

A statement from Waitrose said it had looked at other options but discounted all of them, including the Trinity House building opposite Lowesmoor, citing London Road as the ideal location.

The store will feature a range of John Lewis goods, a coffee shop with outside seating and 285 parking spaces.

The plans include fish, cheese, meat and patisserie counters, and 40 jobs will be created during a mammoth construction process alone.

The store is now set to open in the autumn of 2015, subject to an agreement which will see it hand over up to £257,000 for road improvements such as a massive cycle lane.

It will join Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's in Worcester's supermarket wars.

What they're saying on our Facebook page about the Waitrose decision:

 

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:59am Fri 25 Jul 14

The Kop says...

Does anyone know how this will affect the application for the Battenhall Farm development ?

I'm glad there is going to be a Waitrose but am still not sure of this area, hopefully they will make the entrance very easy to access or the queues will back up the dual carriageway.
Does anyone know how this will affect the application for the Battenhall Farm development ? I'm glad there is going to be a Waitrose but am still not sure of this area, hopefully they will make the entrance very easy to access or the queues will back up the dual carriageway. The Kop
  • Score: 3

11:08am Fri 25 Jul 14

Gorecki says...

Great news, but if they've identified London Road (with Sidbury being a pinch point), being affected, it would be good if the 250k is spent specifically on alleviating/making this more pleasant for drivers/residents.

It would be a shame if it were spent on nice sounding schemes = local cycle lanes which don't really address this.

No idea what, but perhaps things like a new zebra crossing at the entrance to Fort Royal to allow people to cross and walk through.
Or schemes to avoid drivers using rat runs.
Or some sort of plan for Sidbury.

Great news anyway.
Great news, but if they've identified London Road (with Sidbury being a pinch point), being affected, it would be good if the 250k is spent specifically on alleviating/making this more pleasant for drivers/residents. It would be a shame if it were spent on nice sounding schemes = local cycle lanes which don't really address this. No idea what, but perhaps things like a new zebra crossing at the entrance to Fort Royal to allow people to cross and walk through. Or schemes to avoid drivers using rat runs. Or some sort of plan for Sidbury. Great news anyway. Gorecki
  • Score: 7

12:39pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Sproutacus says...

I have absolutely no idea where the highways department get the figures in 'SECONDS' from.
As soon as roadworks are throw into the mix - which WILL be the first day it opens - London road will be a car park.
An accident on the southern by-pass or the M5. Car park.
Lights at Sidbury fail. Car park.
It will only serve to make Battenhall and Ronkswood more of a rat run than they already are.
You can't tell me someone didn't get paid off, looks like next years Mayor will be from the Highways dept.
I have absolutely no idea where the highways department get the figures in 'SECONDS' from. As soon as roadworks are throw into the mix - which WILL be the first day it opens - London road will be a car park. An accident on the southern by-pass or the M5. Car park. Lights at Sidbury fail. Car park. It will only serve to make Battenhall and Ronkswood more of a rat run than they already are. You can't tell me someone didn't get paid off, looks like next years Mayor will be from the Highways dept. Sproutacus
  • Score: 6

12:44pm Fri 25 Jul 14

timevans says...

Councils will not fight developers for long. Developers....especi
ally supermarkets....will outspend local authorities and if it goes to appeal and the council loses they are liable for the developers costs as well as their own. Its not a case of paying off councilors, its a case of councillors having no stomach for a fight they cant win. As usual the system is run by money!
Councils will not fight developers for long. Developers....especi ally supermarkets....will outspend local authorities and if it goes to appeal and the council loses they are liable for the developers costs as well as their own. Its not a case of paying off councilors, its a case of councillors having no stomach for a fight they cant win. As usual the system is run by money! timevans
  • Score: 4

12:45pm Fri 25 Jul 14

WorcsBorn&Bred says...

Just to correct an error in your report, but Waitrose is not one of the so-called "Big 4" supermarket chains. The 'Big 4' are Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, and Morrisons. Waitrose only has 5% of market share, which is left than half of Morrisons, and only just ahead of Aldi.
Just to correct an error in your report, but Waitrose is not one of the so-called "Big 4" supermarket chains. The 'Big 4' are Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys, and Morrisons. Waitrose only has 5% of market share, which is left than half of Morrisons, and only just ahead of Aldi. WorcsBorn&Bred
  • Score: 12

1:57pm Fri 25 Jul 14

CJH says...

Has this been given the go-ahead to provide overspill parking for County Hall and the 6th Form College? Because that's what will happen.
Has this been given the go-ahead to provide overspill parking for County Hall and the 6th Form College? Because that's what will happen. CJH
  • Score: -1

5:40pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Small Town says...

My bike only has 24" wheels, can anyone tell what the lower limit will be on the 'massive cycle lane' proposed?
My bike only has 24" wheels, can anyone tell what the lower limit will be on the 'massive cycle lane' proposed? Small Town
  • Score: 7

7:24pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Keith B says...

Sproutacus wrote:
I have absolutely no idea where the highways department get the figures in 'SECONDS' from.
As soon as roadworks are throw into the mix - which WILL be the first day it opens - London road will be a car park.
An accident on the southern by-pass or the M5. Car park.
Lights at Sidbury fail. Car park.
It will only serve to make Battenhall and Ronkswood more of a rat run than they already are.
You can't tell me someone didn't get paid off, looks like next years Mayor will be from the Highways dept.
The Mayor comes from the City Council - The Highways Dept is a County Council function.

However, I agree that to say the Supermarket will add 19 seconds to a journey on London Road is a load of round objects. In the words of Sir Humphrey "Who is Round to to what does he object?"
[quote][p][bold]Sproutacus[/bold] wrote: I have absolutely no idea where the highways department get the figures in 'SECONDS' from. As soon as roadworks are throw into the mix - which WILL be the first day it opens - London road will be a car park. An accident on the southern by-pass or the M5. Car park. Lights at Sidbury fail. Car park. It will only serve to make Battenhall and Ronkswood more of a rat run than they already are. You can't tell me someone didn't get paid off, looks like next years Mayor will be from the Highways dept.[/p][/quote]The Mayor comes from the City Council - The Highways Dept is a County Council function. However, I agree that to say the Supermarket will add 19 seconds to a journey on London Road is a load of round objects. In the words of Sir Humphrey "Who is Round to to what does he object?" Keith B
  • Score: 3

7:54pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Herrrrr says...

Great location for Waitrose. Bad news if you're a motorist. You have to laugh at the Highways department comment regarding 19 seconds. Is this 19 seconds added to the 20 minutes it takes to crawl to and from the M5 during rush hour? I'm also confused to why they think Sidbury is the 'pinch point'. I make the journey up and down London Road every day and I'd argue that the lights by the Tesco Express garage cause the majority of the problems, poorly timed in favour of the relatively small trickle of traffic coming out of Wylds Lane and Seabright Ave. Ultimately the road infrastructure in and around Worcester is outdated and over stretched. Will this ever be acknowledged? I'm also suprised they've allowed another medium sized supermarket to oepn up in the town. Worcester must be the only city in the UK with a population of 100k without a superstore.
Great location for Waitrose. Bad news if you're a motorist. You have to laugh at the Highways department comment regarding 19 seconds. Is this 19 seconds added to the 20 minutes it takes to crawl to and from the M5 during rush hour? I'm also confused to why they think Sidbury is the 'pinch point'. I make the journey up and down London Road every day and I'd argue that the lights by the Tesco Express garage cause the majority of the problems, poorly timed in favour of the relatively small trickle of traffic coming out of Wylds Lane and Seabright Ave. Ultimately the road infrastructure in and around Worcester is outdated and over stretched. Will this ever be acknowledged? I'm also suprised they've allowed another medium sized supermarket to oepn up in the town. Worcester must be the only city in the UK with a population of 100k without a superstore. Herrrrr
  • Score: 10

8:17pm Fri 25 Jul 14

BadgerMash says...

Very glad I no longer need to use any of the major roads in the area.
Very glad I no longer need to use any of the major roads in the area. BadgerMash
  • Score: 4

8:44pm Sat 26 Jul 14

skychip says...

Nice idea but will be chaotic in the area. Still plenty of parking for 6th form and County Hall as mentioned in one of the comments. Every application seems to get passed without anyone in authority really giving thought to the infrastructure of the area. The Highways Department must be on another plant if they can't see it.
Nice idea but will be chaotic in the area. Still plenty of parking for 6th form and County Hall as mentioned in one of the comments. Every application seems to get passed without anyone in authority really giving thought to the infrastructure of the area. The Highways Department must be on another plant if they can't see it. skychip
  • Score: 1

2:39pm Tue 29 Jul 14

liketoknow says...

what do they mean by research shows foodstores represent ten per cent of 'new traffic'. ''the rest comes from existing passersby''. surely if they already exist they are not new!
what do they mean by research shows foodstores represent ten per cent of 'new traffic'. ''the rest comes from existing passersby''. surely if they already exist they are not new! liketoknow
  • Score: 2

3:53pm Tue 29 Jul 14

brooksider says...

Herrrrr wrote:
Great location for Waitrose. Bad news if you're a motorist. You have to laugh at the Highways department comment regarding 19 seconds. Is this 19 seconds added to the 20 minutes it takes to crawl to and from the M5 during rush hour? I'm also confused to why they think Sidbury is the 'pinch point'. I make the journey up and down London Road every day and I'd argue that the lights by the Tesco Express garage cause the majority of the problems, poorly timed in favour of the relatively small trickle of traffic coming out of Wylds Lane and Seabright Ave. Ultimately the road infrastructure in and around Worcester is outdated and over stretched. Will this ever be acknowledged? I'm also suprised they've allowed another medium sized supermarket to oepn up in the town. Worcester must be the only city in the UK with a population of 100k without a superstore.
The worrying thing is the pinch point comment was made by the Councillor that actually represents Battenhall.

Maybe Steve Mackay can be forgiven for his lack of knowledge of the area as he lives in Warndon.
[quote][p][bold]Herrrrr[/bold] wrote: Great location for Waitrose. Bad news if you're a motorist. You have to laugh at the Highways department comment regarding 19 seconds. Is this 19 seconds added to the 20 minutes it takes to crawl to and from the M5 during rush hour? I'm also confused to why they think Sidbury is the 'pinch point'. I make the journey up and down London Road every day and I'd argue that the lights by the Tesco Express garage cause the majority of the problems, poorly timed in favour of the relatively small trickle of traffic coming out of Wylds Lane and Seabright Ave. Ultimately the road infrastructure in and around Worcester is outdated and over stretched. Will this ever be acknowledged? I'm also suprised they've allowed another medium sized supermarket to oepn up in the town. Worcester must be the only city in the UK with a population of 100k without a superstore.[/p][/quote]The worrying thing is the pinch point comment was made by the Councillor that actually represents Battenhall. Maybe Steve Mackay can be forgiven for his lack of knowledge of the area as he lives in Warndon. brooksider
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Tue 29 Jul 14

liketoknow says...

brooksider wrote:
Herrrrr wrote:
Great location for Waitrose. Bad news if you're a motorist. You have to laugh at the Highways department comment regarding 19 seconds. Is this 19 seconds added to the 20 minutes it takes to crawl to and from the M5 during rush hour? I'm also confused to why they think Sidbury is the 'pinch point'. I make the journey up and down London Road every day and I'd argue that the lights by the Tesco Express garage cause the majority of the problems, poorly timed in favour of the relatively small trickle of traffic coming out of Wylds Lane and Seabright Ave. Ultimately the road infrastructure in and around Worcester is outdated and over stretched. Will this ever be acknowledged? I'm also suprised they've allowed another medium sized supermarket to oepn up in the town. Worcester must be the only city in the UK with a population of 100k without a superstore.
The worrying thing is the pinch point comment was made by the Councillor that actually represents Battenhall.

Maybe Steve Mackay can be forgiven for his lack of knowledge of the area as he lives in Warndon.
one of the main holdups at the Wylds lane seabright avenue junction is theschool crossing patrol . can't do much about that.
[quote][p][bold]brooksider[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Herrrrr[/bold] wrote: Great location for Waitrose. Bad news if you're a motorist. You have to laugh at the Highways department comment regarding 19 seconds. Is this 19 seconds added to the 20 minutes it takes to crawl to and from the M5 during rush hour? I'm also confused to why they think Sidbury is the 'pinch point'. I make the journey up and down London Road every day and I'd argue that the lights by the Tesco Express garage cause the majority of the problems, poorly timed in favour of the relatively small trickle of traffic coming out of Wylds Lane and Seabright Ave. Ultimately the road infrastructure in and around Worcester is outdated and over stretched. Will this ever be acknowledged? I'm also suprised they've allowed another medium sized supermarket to oepn up in the town. Worcester must be the only city in the UK with a population of 100k without a superstore.[/p][/quote]The worrying thing is the pinch point comment was made by the Councillor that actually represents Battenhall. Maybe Steve Mackay can be forgiven for his lack of knowledge of the area as he lives in Warndon.[/p][/quote]one of the main holdups at the Wylds lane seabright avenue junction is theschool crossing patrol . can't do much about that. liketoknow
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Zig'Ob -StillAlive&Well says...

I'm with BadgerMash. Just another example of "non-joined-up" thought and planning that's been occurring in Worcester since the 1960s that has turned the city into the hell-hole it has become. Greed and backhanders everywhere. All denied of course.
I'm with BadgerMash. Just another example of "non-joined-up" thought and planning that's been occurring in Worcester since the 1960s that has turned the city into the hell-hole it has become. Greed and backhanders everywhere. All denied of course. Zig'Ob -StillAlive&Well
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree