Councillors have now approved plans for the on-site 25,000sq ft Waitrose
A year ago the garden centre unveiled its plans for an adjoining new, 25,000sq ft branch of Waitrose, but in December the proposal was recommended for refusal by planning officers. Now, however, the plans have been narrowly approved by East Hertfordshire District Council.
Concerns about additional traffic and the impact on the green belt were deemed as insufficient reason to reject the plan.
For Van Hage the development will create an improved car park, a new 100-seater café and better facilities, along with the extra footfall that Waitrose will bring to the site.
Waitrose will now close its existing store in Hertford town centre and as a result the future of the entire shopping area is now in doubt. Plans for a £40m revamp of the town centre have reportedly been suspended indefinitely.
The development company Wrenbridge described it as “hugely disappointing that councillors chose to support an out-of-town food store, which could have serious implications for Hertford town centre.”