PLANS to build a new Waitrose supermarket in Knowle have been put on hold indefinitely – The Observer can exclusively reveal.
The multi-million pound project, which already has full planning approval and has been in the pipeline for several years, would have seen the redesign of the centre of Knowle around the Village Green, to include the creation of the new store, the demolition of a number of bungalows around the green, new parking and road structures and the revamp of the Village Hall.
Rumours have been rife in recent months that the project could be scrapped as Waitrose was seemingly dragging its heels on the scheme.
And speaking to The Observer today (Friday) a spokesperson confirmed the rumours – stating that ‘we have had to put our plans on hold for a while’.
“The well documented changes in trading patterns across the supermarket sector have impacted the viability of the planned Waitrose store in Knowle and sadly it has been necessary to put our plans on hold for now whilst we continue to monitor market conditions,” he said.
“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.”
Read next week’s Observer – and keep checking our website – for all the local reaction.
Mail email@example.com with all your views and opinions.