Mixed opinions on new Waitrose store in Bilton

Hundreds of people in Bilton attended an exhibition to view plans for a new Waitrose in the village.

Around 600 residents visited Bilton Methodist Church Hall on Friday and Saturday to see the proposals for an upmarket foodstore.

Richard and Mavis Green examine the plans for a new Waitrose store in Bilton.

Richard and Mavis Green examine the plans for a new Waitrose store in Bilton.

More than 70 per cent of those who attended the exhibition and filled out a questionnaire or online response said they would like to see a new Waitrose store in Bilton.

But dad Karl Fraser, who lives in Bilton, said: “I think it’s a stupid idea.

“I went to the exhibition and was disappointed by the proposals. When I take my stepdaughter Lily to school, the traffic queues are horrendous and this isn’t going to help.”

He said the new supermarket is in the wrong place.

“The traffic there at the minute is shocking and adding another shop would not be very clever,” he added.

Justin Coling, who has lived in the village for ten years, said: “It’s a ridiculous idea and it’s going to spoil the peace and tranquillity of the village.

“Why not build it in the town centre or one of the retails parks in Rugby? I think it’s going to spoil the ethos of the village.”

But resident Angela Paul, who has two young children, welcomes the plan.

“I think it’s a great idea as I love Waitrose,” she said.

“The only thing I am worried about is spending too much money in there! It’s going to bring jobs to the town which has got to be a good thing.”

Roland Bohn from developers Discovery Properties said: “We would like to thank the people of Rugby and Bilton for their engagement in the consultation and for letting us know their thoughts.

“The consultation was well attended and the response of 73 percent in favour was very encouraging.”

Waitrose says the new supermarket will bring 150 jobs to the area and help local causes. Nigel Keen of Waitrose said: “We have been extremely encouraged by the level of local support our proposal received. The plans will inject new investment into the area, which will enable us to provide more choice and a significant number of jobs for local people. The new branch will also donate £12,000 and 250 working staff hours to local causes nominated by our customers.” It will be 31,700 sq ft gross with a net sales area of 20,000 sq.