THE FIRST glimpses of the John Lewis Partner-ship’s plans for a new superstore in Basingstoke went on public display last week.
Proposals for the John Lewis at home and Waitrose’s combined store in Basing View were showcased to shoppers in The Malls last Friday and Saturday.
Many people said they were looking forward to the multi-million pound development, although there were fears that it could cause months of traffic chaos when construction starts.
Sally Bennett, 41, from Oakridge, who is registered disabled: “It is going to create serious trouble to public transport to Oakridge, Popley, and Chineham. We have had so much disruption in the past eight to 10 months. Building the new store is going to close the road for a long time which is going to make it very difficult for me to get around.”
Ben Shapiro, 80, from Oakridge: “It is long overdue. I have been looking forward to it ever since I heard a rumour of it. John Lewis has a good reputation for being a good place to do business. One of my concerns though is the infrastructure, but I am looking forward to it.”
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John Michaels, 41, of South View: “It makes it more awkward for people coming down from Norn Hill. Traffic, with people all going to Basing View is going to be chaotic. And at the end of the day it is going to kill the town centre. There are quite a few independents in Festival Place who will suffer.”
Terry Stephenson, 66, from Popley, who was viewing the exhibition with his wife Wendy, 61: “It looks lovely and is brilliant for employment – and there will be spin-off jobs as well. It will be good for the local economy. It is a lovely piece of architecture – it looks terrific.”