Waitrose hints at move to Great Dunmow

PUBLISHED: 09:48 22 January 2015 | UPDATED: 09:48 22 January 2015

Archant

High-end supermarket chain Waitrose has been strongly linked to a site in Great Dunmow – with the new store expected to be open by the end of next year.

The Broadcast understands that talks are ongoing between the food store and Great Dunmow Estates, the owner of the site off Chelmsford Road, to take on the new outlet.

The supermarket comes as part of the 350-home Smiths Farm development, which was approved by Uttlesford District Council’s (UDC) planning committee in 2013.

Great Dunmow Estates expects to be working on the site by the end of this year, with the hope of opening the 22,000 sq ft store by the end of 2016.

Matthew Chandler, a spokesperson for the company, said: “Developer Crest Nicholson is due to complete the contract for the acquisition of the residential land shortly which will kick everything off.

“Once this has completed we will be in a position to progress discussions on the food store and commercial element. We are talking to Waitrose at the moment. I believe the supermarket will be a massively positive step for town.”

Along with the food store, Great Dunmow Estates will be developing five acres of commercial land for office and industrial users. The idea is to provide additional space for Great Dunmow businesses to expand.

“The commercial scheme is a work in progress and we are trying to accommodate local occupiers’ needs,” Mr Chandler added. “With the recession behind us there are 
a good number of solid local 
businesses looking to expand.

“With the lack of good quality commercial space available in Dunmow, some occupiers are being forced to look further afield in Braintree and Stansted. We are in discussions with various local 
occupiers to see if we can satisfy their requirements and keep them in the town.”

After being approached by the Broadcast, a spokesperson for Waitrose said: “This is an opportunity we are aware of and one we are continuing to explore.”

What do you think? Is Waitrose the best choice for Great Dunmow? E-mail emma.hardwick@archant.co.uk with your thoughts.

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