Waitrose puts off proposed Saffron Walden store expansion to 2015

Waitrose has today confirmed the planned expansion of its Saffron Walden store will be pushed back to 2015.

It had originally targeted January 2014 as the start date for its 10-month multi-million pound redevelopment but has delayed it to avoid impacting on town centre trade over the Christmas period.

Branch manager, Malcolm Domb said: “We recognise we have an important role to play in Saffron Walden and feel it is important we make every effort to avoid any disruption to the town’s busiest trading period.

“We understand there may be some disappointment, however we remain committed to delivering a fantastic new look shop and car park which will allow us to provide an even better shopping experience and ensure we play our part in continuing to attract shoppers here for many years to come.”

He added: “We are pleased to have a programme in place and cannot wait to get started.”

Waitrose was granted permission to expand its Hill Street store in April 2011. The plan is to increase its floor space by 528sqm, roughly the size of five badminton courts, by replacing parts of the existing car park.

Space for extra toilets and a café was also included in the design, while additional jobs are set to be created.

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However, the problem of replacing the loss of 294 parking spaces at Fairycroft Road car park during its refurbishment appears to have been too difficult to solve in such a short time frame.

It means the work will now start in January 2015.