ANOTHER supermarket giant could be coming to Chelmsford.
A new, multi-million pound Waitrose store, which could create up to 180 jobs, is being earmarked for the current Royal Mail delivery office, in Victoria Road.
Royal Mail has announced it intends to relocate its delivery office to Montrose Road, with its enquiry office for customers moving to its mail centre in Winsford Way.
Nigel Keen, Waitrose director of development, said: “Our proposals are still evolving, however we are confident this can make a positive contribution to the town.
“We believe this is an exciting opportunity to deliver a quality food shop which can bring substantial benefits to Chelmsford, including more choice and a significant number of new jobs for local people.
“The plans will help Royal Mail to achieve its ambition to relocate its operation within the town and ensure the site gets new investment, which will complement the town centre and help play a part in attracting new shoppers to Chelmsford.
“Working with the community is paramount in our approach and we are looking forward to discussing our plans with residents, traders and community groups.”
Nicola Scrivings, Royal Mail’s Anglia regional operations director, added: “Due to the continuing decline in the amount of mail we handle, Chelmsford delivery office has surplus space that is no longer required for our operations.
“It is our intention to move our delivery office and in doing so, dispose of a freehold site and refurbish an existing site for a new use.
“Detailed planning for the move, which is subject to planning approval, will take place to ensure a smooth transition for our customers and staff in Chelmsford.”
Waitrose’ plans also include a number of residential properties, small business units, about 240 car parking spaces and a new community centre.
Details about the 25,000 sq ft store will go on display on Friday March 23 from 10am to 7pm, and Saturday March 24 from 10am to 1pm at Shire Hall, in Tindal Square, Chelmsford, where representatives from Waitrose and the project team will be available to answer questions.
A planning application could be submitted to Chelmsford Council by the end of the summer. If approved, Royal Mail’s relocation could go ahead in 2014 with Waitrose opening in 2015.