Multi million pound proposal will create 150 jobs if plans for 18,000 square foot store are approved.

WAITROSE has today (Tuesday) announced multi million pound plans for a new supermarket in Great Torrington.

The proposal involves revitalising The Sydney House Car Park off South Street and the neighbouring derelict market garden with a new store the company says will create up to 150 new jobs.

The company said it had brought plans for the 18,000 square foot store forward after a Torridge District Council report in 2012 said 85 per cent of the town’s food expenditure was going to out of town supermarkets.

It hopes to lodge a planning application in the spring, with work to start next year if successful and the store opening in 2016.

Waitrose and developer Kimberley are inviting local people to view and discuss the plans at a public exhibition in The Plough Arts Centre on Friday of next week (February 7) from 10am-7pm. Representatives from Waitrose and the project team will be on hand to answer questions and listen to feedback.

The store proposals make provision for around 220 parking spaces. Sydney House car park, which is currently owned by the district council, will continue to be made available as a town centre facility. The market garden is owned privately and has remained unused for many years.

“Waitrose has a long-standing ambition to open a shop in the area and believe the plans brought forward by Kimberley offer an exciting opportunity to deliver a quality food store with appropriate parking in order to meet the identified need,” said Waitrose director of development, Nigel Keen.

“The proposal will allow us to replace the existing car park and derelict land with a fresh new building which can provide more retail choice for local residents, help attract shoppers to the town centre and will create a significant number of job opportunities.”

Thousands of newsletters are to be delivered to residents telling them about the plans and inviting them to the public exhibition. The plans can be viewed online from tomorrow (Wednesday) at www.waitrosegreatorrington.co.uk or by clicking here.