Waitrose to unveil store plans at public exhibition in Midhurst


MULTI-MILLION-pound plans for a new supermarket in Midhurst are to be unveiled by retail giant Waitrose at a special exhibition.

Waitrose and Kimberley Developments will be hosting an all-day public exhibition on Friday, January 16, from 10am-7pm at the Grange community leisure centre on Bepton Road to display the long-awaited plans.

Director of development for Waitrose Nigel Keen said the store hoped to submit its planning application this spring for a new store on the site of the former Grange centre, close to the new leisure centre building.

If given the go-ahead, it was hoped to start building in the autumn and open the new store in the autumn of 2016.

He said the new supermarket would generate up to 150 new jobs.

Midhurst people are invited to go along to view and discuss the plans.

Mr Keen said: “Midhurst is an attractive and vibrant retail centre, however, a recent survey has identified that more than 90 per cent of main food trips by local residents are being undertaken at supermarkets elsewhere.

“The new Waitrose supermarket is designed to help retain shoppers in Midhurst and benefit the town centre with linked shopping visits to other businesses.”

Waitrose supported the communities in which they operated, he said, by donating £12,000 and 250 staff working hours each year to local causes nominated by customers.

At the exhibition, representatives from Waitrose and the project team will be on hand to answer questions.

Residents can also register comments online at www.waitrosemidhurst.co.uk.

“We believe the plans brought forward by Kimberley provide an 
exciting opportunity not only to bring the Waitrose offer to the area, but encourage shoppers to remain in Midhurst,” said Mr Keen.

“We look forward to people sharing their feedback on 
the plans.”

Subject to comments received during the consultation, Kimberley aims to submit a planning application to South Downs National Park Authority in the next four months.

It was described as the final piece in the jigsaw when Chichester District Council announced last March that its preferred buyer for the old Grange centre site was Kimberley Developments working with Waitrose.

Midhurst’s county and district councillor Gordon McAra said: “It’s the last piece in an increasingly impressive and dynamic jigsaw for Midhurst.”