Waitrose could soon be on the doorstop of Chelmsford Town Hall, but there have been concerns and objections raised as to the location of the supermarket.
Residents have urged that the Town Hall remains as it is, rather than it be developed into a site for the supermarket retailer. Do you think the arrival of Waitrose will boost trade in the town? Would you like to see the Town Hall remain as it is or developed into a new supermarket?
The Town Hall, in Ingrave Road, is being considered by the supermarket chain along with several other sites, but, after the leader of Brentwood Council raised concerns about the proposal to move into the historic town hall site, Waitrose is now in talks with Brentwood Council in order to find a suitable place.
However, despite the council giving its support for a new store, it has raised planning and highways concerns about redeveloping the site.
A public consultation has already been held with residents about the future of the Town Hall, with residents saying it should be retained.
Louise McKinlay, leader of Brentwood Council, said: “Through the Town Hall public engagement programme, residents have made clear their desire to retain the Town Hall building, something I am personally committed to delivering.
“With that as a priority, together with the planning and highways requirements, it’s hard to see how Waitrose would be appropriate on the current Town Hall site.”
Bosses at the council believe the presence of a new Waitrose would help boost trade in the town. And they say they will continue to suggest other possible locations for a new store.
Mike Le-Surf, Labour councillor for Brentwood South, said he supports residents and is against the idea of developing the Town Hall site.
He said: “The Labour group is definitely against the idea of a new Waitrose store here. The Town Hall site is a historical place with important features, such as the nearby cathedral and Brentwood School, which have always been part of the community. The site is not a place for a supermarket and should be preserved.”
Waitrose said it cannot confirm details of its proposals at this stage of negotiations but would be happy to consider all sites.