Redevelopment of Storrington’s Waitrose delayed until 2015

An artist's impression from Waitrose of plans for Old Mill Drive at Storrington.
An artist's impression from Waitrose of plans for Old Mill Drive at Storrington.

Waitrose management has told the County Times that Storrington’s supermarket expansion development will now be delayed until 2015.

This news comes after the application was passed in December 2012 to expand Old Mill Square’s Waitrose by 3,221 square metres, with an aim to start development in 2014.

Branch manager of Waitrose Storrington, Odette Kuc, said that it was important that time was taken to work with the council and local residents to ‘evolve the initial design’.

She said: “We felt it was important to update you on plans to redevelop our Storrington shop. When we first brought forward our proposal we stated that we hoped to be in position to start on site in 2014 and open in 2015.

“This was an estimate based on the information we had available at that time.

“It was important though that we took time to work with the council and local residents to evolve our initial design and ensure our plans will complement the village.

“We are grateful to everyone who provided feedback and helped us shape our planning application.

“The natural course of the design process together with a recent review of our capital expenditure now means we plan to start construction on the shop in 2015 and open in 2016.

“We realise this may cause disappointment for some residents, however we remain firmly committed to making a major investment in redeveloping our store which will deliver new jobs, improved parking and provide shoppers with the latest Waitrose offer to play our part in attracting shoppers to Storrington.

“As soon as we are in a position to share a more detailed programme, we will inform the community.

“Our priority is to look at how we can phase the build to minimise disruption and ensure there is maximum temporary parking, particularly whilst we reconstruct the car park. It is likely that we will need to create the temporary parking that we showed during the exhibition of our planning application.

“We are looking forward to continuing to work with local residents and traders to ensure we make a positive contribution to the village for many years to come.”

Plans to expand Waitrose were green-lighted by Horsham District Council on December 18 2012.

The new store could provide employment for an additional 80 staff.

However, plans had raised concern among the ‘Save Our Storrington’ action group, which has campaigned against the expansion on the grounds of traffic problems, air quality in the village, and the size of the store.

The part-demolition of the existing supermarket will create an in-store coffee shop and two-level car park.