Waitrose ruled out Castle Quay store in favour of Southam Road

An artist's impression of the new Waitrose store on Southam Road, Banbury. NNL-150403-125743001
An artist's impression of the new Waitrose store on Southam Road, Banbury. NNL-150403-125743001

Waitrose has said it gave the Castle Quay extension scheme ‘serious consideration’ before choosing Southam Road as its preferred location in Banbury.

The high-end supermarket chain announced plans last Thursday for a new 29,000 sq ft site on surplus land belonging to Mondelez International. It would create about 200 jobs and include a 220-space car park.

But residents and businesses are concerned about traffic congestion and the location threatening town centre vitality.

A spokesperson for Waitrose said: “Waitrose has a long-standing ambition to open in Banbury and gave the Castle Quay scheme serious consideration, but following a detailed review of the plans concluded that it was not a viable option.

“We had meetings with senior officers at Cherwell District Council, the agent acting on behalf of the applicant and their development partner, but sadly the size of the proposed store, car parking provision and the overall complexity of the scheme meant it was not a viable opportunity for us as a supermarket operation.

“We would not wish to open a store which it felt was at risk of closure in the future and put at risk the jobs of those local people the store would employ.

“Southam Road offers the opportunity for a larger store enabling us to compete with large, nearby supermarkets as well as providing ‘at grade’ parking which we know customers prefer to multi-storey parking.”

A public exhibition showing the plans is in Banbury Town Hall tomorrow (Friday) from 2pm-6pm and Saturday from 10am-1pm.