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Huge backing for new Waitrose, claims chain
DEVELOPERS behind a new supermarket in West Oxford say they have had almost unanimous support for their proposal.
Waitrose is hoping to turn the former Halfords site in Botley Road into a new store and recently held public consultations.
The company now says about 90 per cent of those who responded to the consultation supported the scheme.
Spokesman Paul Dimoldenberg said: “There was overwhelming support for the scheme.
“We have got nearly 400 comment card responses which were filled in at the exhibition or returned to us by post and we have had about 90 per cent in favour, which we are delighted with obviously.”
Waitrose’s only Oxford store, in Headington, is half the size of the proposed Botley Road shop.
Mr Dimoldenberg said: “The issue that came up the most is the issue of traffic on the Botley Road which we are obviously very aware of and we will be discussing it with the highways authority.
“We are confident that the additional traffic will not make a significant impact.
“The architects will have to look at the various configurations and we have to give it a lot of thought to make sure it works.”
City councillor for Jericho and Osney Colin Cook, who is also executive board member for city development, said he would not be able to be involved in the decision because it was is too close to his house.
He said: “I can see both the advantages and the disadvantages of the proposal. The advantages are a much better building than what exists there at the moment and the down side is the potential increase in traffic.
“I suspect what the majority of people will think is that this is the least worst possible development that could happen on the site.”
Waitrose plans to demolish the existing building, which is currently occupied by a Cancer Research UK store, and put a 24,500sq ft supermarket on the site.
The company hopes to submit a planning application for the site in January, with work beginning in autumn 2014 and the new store opening in 2015.
More information can be found at waitrosebotleyroad.co.uk
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