Bright new store is ready to open at Leamington’s ‘gateway’
LEAMINGTON will be home to the country’s largest Morrisons supermarket in just under two months’ time.
The major chain, which is creating 350 jobs for people in the area, will open its doors at the former Ford Foundry site on March 25.
The new store, which will come with a 500-space car park and cafe, is part of a major development of the site in a joint operation between Morrisons and Trilogy Developments.
On Tuesday councillors on Warwick District Council, which approved the scheme two years ago, were given a preview of the Morrisons building – which includes 420 solar panels, roof lights and a rainwater collection system.
Patrick Stones, managing director of Trilogy Developments, which designed the building, said: “The architecture is unique and the inside of the store will incorporate the latest interior design thinking.
“It’s a modern design which includes a lot more glazing and other innovative materials that you won’t see at other food stores.”
He added: “It’s also very environmentally sound. Most of the glazing faces south onto Warwick Road, so there is no glare, but there will be a lot of natural light inside the store.”
Mr Stones said that the store has been complete since October, but roadworks to manage the traffic around the site need to be finished by Warwickshire County Council before it can open.
He said: “We have not received any feedback voicing concerns about there being another supermarket in the town.
“It was a vacant and derelict brownfield site, which made it attractive to us, as it represented a huge opportunity for bringing in developments of various uses.
“It was also an opportunity to enhance the gateway to Leamington across almost 20 acres.”
Morrisons and Trilogy have planning consent to build 100,000 square feet of offices alongside the supermarket, but as they have been unsuccessful in finding businesses to occupy the space, they have applied for permission to allow them to use it for a retail store instead.
Mr Stones said: “Our ideal position would be go get a major retailer to occupy a home store there.”
He added that at a public exhibition held in Leamington before Christmas, almost 60 per cent of respondents to a questionnaire said they were in favour of allowing the space to be used for something other than offices, while 28 per cent said they were indifferent.
Morrisons and Trilogy are also applying to build a petrol station and a drive-through coffee shop at the site and they are preparing plans for a trade park, which would include firms specialising in such things as tyres, car parts, window replacements and plumbing.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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