Waitrose plans win backing

Wiltshire Times:

PLANS to build a Waitrose supermarket in Trowbridge were unanimously backed by town councillors this week.

Parkridge Developments and Waitrose submitted a joint planning application in January for the redevelopment of the former Peter Black factory in County Way, Trowbridge.

The company says its Cradle Bridge development will transform the derelict Peter Black site into a vibrant riverside, shopping and leisure destination.

The plans include a 1,720 sq m Waitrose food shop, 46 one and two-bedroom apartments, 1,008 sq m of ground floor restaurant, a 60-bedroom hotel and car parks.

It also includes the creation of a riverside walkway, creating better access to the river Biss, and walkways and bridges linking the site with the town centre, the proposed Waterside development in County Way and Parkridge's Shires Gateway scheme in Bythesea Road.

All the councillors on the town's planning committee welcomed the plans but questioned the Parkridge team during the meeting.

Cllr Andrew Bryant wanted reassurance that the promised boulevard of trees would result in something similar to the sketched plans.

Ben Holmes, a planning consultant for Parkridge, confirmed the trees would be semi-mature.

Cllr Peter Fuller said: "Will there be provisions made for a bus service to the new store? Many people will want to go by public transport."

Mr Holmes said: "The site is too long and narrow for a bus service but the public spaces are all open to pedestrians and people will be able to walk easily to the shop from many different points. We are looking at putting in a bridge to link the site to St Stephen's Place."

Town clerk Lance Allen was concerned the development would absorb all demand for shopping and retail in Trowbridge making it more unlikely that the former Tesco site in St Stephen's Place, nicknamed Mount Crushmore, would ever be developed.

Philip O'Callaghan, managing director of Parkridge UK Retail, said: "I think the development of the Parkridge Shires Gateway and the Waterside project will increase the retail offering and attract other retailers to Trowbridge as it grows."

The planning application will now go to West Wiltshire District Council for consideration.

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