A major revamp of Petworth’s Co-op store to expand and improve its retail offering could begin as early as next summer.
he food store has applied for listed building consent to reconfigure its ground and basement floors ‘to increase the retail floor space and improve the functionality of the store’.
Work would involve moving partition walls, relocating the kitchen and excavating additional space in the basement to install a scissor lift and a new staircase.
A spokesman for the Co-op told the Observer: “We can confirm that our Market Square store, in Petworth, will undergo extension work next summer. We’re looking forward to expanding our offering and improving the in-store shopper experience.”
The design statement on the application claimed the proposals would particularly improve the experience of customers with limited mobility.
It added: “In addition, the proposals will allow a greater choice and boost the existing role of the store in provision of an essential service to local people.”
The town’s Co-op had been expected to move across the road to Swan House for several years until June, when town councillors heard the supermarket had ditched its plans.
It followed years of speculation and reassurances by the store that it would be moving to the larger site, which was left empty for more than three years while it was leased by the chain.
Instead, the improvements to the Market Road shop will reconfigure the back and front of house areas of the store, including adding partition walls and a kitchen area with fridge/freezer units to the southern part of the basement.
The northern part of the shop’s basement area would also be boarded over and mothballed ‘for future use’, the design statement added.
Listed building consent is required as the site is in the conservation area.
For more details, see the South Downs National Park Authority planning portal, application reference SDNP/18/05809/LIS.