PLANS to build a John Lewis at Home and Waitrose in Basing View have been given the green light by the borough council.
Councillors on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s development control committee all voted in favour of the development at a meeting last night. The plans were recommended for approval by borough planning officers.
A planning application for the store was submitted to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council by Muse Developments, the company spearheading the regeneration of Basing View, in October 2013.
The proposed 78,000sq ft John Lewis at Home and Waitrose store will be built on council-owned land as part of £200million plans to regenerate Basing View.
As previously reported in The Gazette, a customer café, 416-space car-park, staff offices and service yard are all included in the plans along with the addition of a taxi rank at the front of the new store and a bus stop to the north of the store’s proposed car park.
Tadley South Councillor David Leeks expressed concern about disabled parking at the meeting last night. The development will provide 21 disabled car parking spaces in the 416-space car park.
Cllr Leeks told the meeting: “I would like to propose the recommendation for approval but I am concerned about the disabled parking. It (the application) says we have to have 21 spaces but it doesn’t say we have to police them to make sure disabled people use them.”
Chairman of the development control committee, Cllr Horace Mitchell said: “I am confident that Waitrose and John Lewis will be doing everything they can to support the point (on disabled parking).”
Jonathan Banham, Waitrose’s south-west development officer addressed the concerns, and said: “We will be managing the car park with an on-site attendant to ensure people who aren’t disabled don’t use the spaces.”
He added: “John Lewis and Waitrose have had long-term ambitions to develop in Basingstoke. This scheme represents a multi-million pound investment in Basingstoke.
“We are committed to pushing the development as soon as possible and we hope to open the site next year.”
The superstore will be only the second of its kind in the country and is set to create 300 new jobs.