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New plans for fire-wrecked Morrisons store in Cheriton Road, Folkestone

By Sam Williams

Updated plans to replace a supermarket destroyed by fire have been unveiled.

Morrisons, in Cheriton Road, went up in flames last November after a deep fat fryer in the store's cafe is believed to have caught alight.

More than 50 firefighters battled the blaze at its peak and fortunately, there were no injuries.

The Morrisons supermarket as it stands now. Picture: Kent Fire and Rescue (5311391)
The Morrisons supermarket as it stands now. Picture: Kent Fire and Rescue (5311391)

The store has been trading from a temporary building in its car park ever since.

And in January the retailer revealed plans to completely demolish the building and replace it with a new state-of-the-art store roughly the same size as the previous one.

But an amended planning application has now back tracked on this scheme - and reveals parts of the original building will be incorporated into the re-build.

And the reason behind the turn around appears to stem from cost.

Artist impressions of the new store in Folkestone (8006768)
Artist impressions of the new store in Folkestone (8006768)

A statement from the architects, Whittam Cox, submitted to Folkestone and Hythe District Council states: "Since Morrisons originally submitted the planning application in January 2019 there has been a wider understanding gained as to the extent of the fire damage.

"The original proposal proposed a full demolish and rebuild but this has now been amended to better reflect what can be retained and what Morrisons reimbursement by their insurers will cover.

"As such the existing steel work and floor slab are to be retained, as is the service yard existing brick elevation.

"All other brick elevations have been damaged by the fire and need to be removed."

New photos show what the inside of Folkestone's new supermarket could look like - they were taken from other recently completed stores
New photos show what the inside of Folkestone's new supermarket could look like - they were taken from other recently completed stores

As well as cost, the document identifies "a number of constraints placed upon them [Morrisons] with regards to Folkestone which need to be taken into consideration" when designing the new store.

These include the retained structure, employees working hours, the time frame and the materials that can be used.

Although the planning application is subject to approval, the team at Morrisons say they want the new build to be complete and open before Christmas this year.

The proposal includes plans for a bakers, butchers, fishmongers and florist, as well as clothing from the Nutmeg range, to all feature in the store.

The new shop is expected to include a bakers, butchers, fishmongers and florist
The new shop is expected to include a bakers, butchers, fishmongers and florist
A wider range of groceries is expected to be on offer in the new store once it is complete
A wider range of groceries is expected to be on offer in the new store once it is complete

On offer will also be a wider range of groceries, including the Health and Wellbeing range and the Free From range.

Key cutting and dry cleaning services will also be present, with Amazon lockers installed for customers to collect their online shopping.

Construction could start as early as summer with the temporary store remaining open until it is complete.

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