A SUPERMARKET in Romsey town centre has been given permission to enlarge its store by eight metres.

Waitrose will be extending the shop floor into Latimer Walk.

Despite fears by residents living in the area that it would bring more deliveries and noise during the store’s operating hours, Test Valley Borough councillors agreed to grant the supermarket permission.

The planning officer’s report said: “It is considered that the proposal is acceptable in principle and would not harm the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

However, one objector stated: “The need for this extension has not been adequately justified and is not necessary. Waitrose’s stated reason to sell a wider range of goods is not a valid planning consideration and may conflict with the permission for a food store.”

The public route through the area would be maintained, but Waitrose has had to donate cash to provide alternate public space and for highway improvements.

A raft of conditions were imposed, including restrictions on the hours of the building works to extend the building.

Waitrose branch manager, Steve Corbett said: “We’re delighted with the decision reached by the planning committee and I would like to thank everybody for the time and effort they’ve invested ensuring that our proposal will play a positive role in the community.

“The improved shop will help encourage trade to remain within the town and ensure we’re meeting the needs of our customers.”