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Empty shops in Wallingford prompt warning
A TRADERS’ leader is warning the number of empty shop units in Wallingford will continue to grow if the former Waitrose store remains unoccupied.
Elaine Hornsby, of traders’ group Wallingford in Business, issued the warning after a survey revealed that the number of empty shops has jumped by six since last year.
The survey conducted in January by South Oxfordshire District Council found the number of empty units in Wallingford has risen from nine to 15.
Ms Hornsby said: “It’s now crucial for the Co-op to press ahead with its plans to open a new store on the site of the former Waitrose in St Martin’s Street.”
The Co-operative Group was given planning permission in November for its £1.5 plan for a convenience store and seven flats.
But bosses warned they might withdraw their plans if Morrisons is given permission for a new store on the Hithercroft estate.
Council economic development manager Suzanne Malcolm said: “We hope the Co-op will come forward but we haven’t had any detailed discussions on a timescale for when they might start the store.”