Hundreds attend Torrington Waitrose consultation

The consultation at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington today. The consultation at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington today.

Friday, February 7, 2014
5:05 PM

Mixed response to plans for new superstore as protesters hand out flyers outside consultation.

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An artist's impression of how the proposed new Waitrose store at Torrington could look.An artist's impression of how the proposed new Waitrose store at Torrington could look.

MORE than 300 people have turned out today (Fri) to a consultation in Torrington regarding plans for a new Waitrose store in the town.

Many of the visitors to the exhibition, which outlined plans for the 18,000sq ft store by Waitrose and developer Kimberly, felt it would be a positive addition to the town.

Torrington resident Cindy Weston said she felt it would bring people back into the town to do their shopping.

“I think this is what Torrington needs,” she said.

“It will bring more foot fall into the area. I get day-to-day bits in the town but go to Holsworthy to do my main shop so this would be brilliant.”

Resident Anne Barnes dismissed some people’s views that the proposed store would have a negative impact on the town centre.

She said: “I really do think it will help revitalise Torrington itself – local people will still support local businesses.

“It’s going to create up to 150 jobs which I’ve been told 70-80 per cent of will be filled by people within a five mile catchment area.

“The fact that people will come from outside of the area as well can only be good for the local traders in the town.”

John and Diane Rollinson, who have lived in Torrington for 42 years, said they felt they could see the positive side of the scheme.

“I am quite interested in it – people will be able to park for two hours for free if they visit the store and spend time in the town,” said Mr Rollinson.

Meanwhile, members of the Save Torrington’s Skyline group set up to oppose the multi million pound plans, stood outside the consultation handing out leaflets.

Alan Williams and Jill Sample said they felt it was the wrong place for the store and that it would cause huge traffic problems in the town.

“I think it’s wrong because the distance from the town centre will mean it will turn into a one stop shop,” said Mr Williams.

“It is the wrong place for it. People won’t come up into the town, and the location is horrible – right on the skyline and the wrong place for it.

“We would urge anyone who has any objections to the plans to write to Torridge District Council once a planning application is submitted.”

The store, which promises 150 new jobs, a café, toilets, and the retention of car parking spaces, would be completed in spring 2016 if planning is approved.

The consultation at The Plough will run until 7pm today. Anyone who cannot make it can view the plans and comment online at www.waitrosegreattorrington.co.uk.

What do you think of the plans? Comment below or email sarah.howells@archant.co.uk.

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