Saturday, 13 June 2015

Knowle Waitrose "on hold"

A WAITROSE plan for Knowle is “on hold” because of concerns about its viability, the firm has said.

Artists impression (new)

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The firm said it still intended to go ahead with the development, for a former bowling green by the Red Lion car park in St John’s Close.

In a statement, the firm said: “The well documented changes in trading patterns across the supermarket sector have impacted the viability of the planned Waitrose in Knowle and sadly it has been necessary to put our plans on hold for now whilst we continue to monitor market conditions.

“Our aspiration to deliver a quality food store which will help the village continue to thrive remains the same, however we do not feel it would be fair to residents to start work without absolute confidence of when it will open.

“We recognise the delay will cause some disappointment and frustration, which we share.  This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we are grateful to local people for their understanding. 

“The intention of Waitrose and the developer, Kimberley, is still to make a major investment and make a positive contribution to Knowle in the future.”

The company won Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council permission for the St John’s Close store in November 2012.

But a final decision notice was only issued on August 1 last year which lasts for three years as final details such as building materials had to be agreed with the council.

Five bungalows nearest the store will be relocated to create a car park that will remain the council’s control.

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