New Morrisons store plans revealed

Morrisons has launched fresh plans for a new supermarket to replace the store destroyed in a fire.

The retailer, which has been trading from a temporary building in its car park since a fire damaged the existing store, says it has submitted a detailed planning application to Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC).

If approved, the current building would be demolished and replaced by a state-of-the-art store roughly the same size as the previous one.

The building went up in flames on November 8 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.

Store manager, Andy Parkinson took the opportunity to thank staff for their hard work over a "difficult couple of months."

He said: "I'm delighted that we are moving forward with the plans so quickly.

"There's been a supermarket at Cheriton Road Road since the 1970s so it would be fantastic for our customers and colleagues to open the doors to a new store in the near future.

"I'd like to thank my hard working store team for pulling together over a difficult couple of months to keep a temporary store open so we can continue to serve our customers."

Customers will enter through a large glazed entrance with the internal layout redesigned with wider aisles.

Market Street counters will make a return including the butcher, baker and fishmonger alongside a new café.

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

Remarkably the temporary store, measuring about 50m long, 20m and 10m high opened within a month of the accident.

It's a third of the original size and is employing 80% of the original staff.

Speaking at the opening, Mr Parkinson said he hopes the main store will be running within 12 months.

He said: "We hope the new store will be ready within a year. The temporary one has been put up within 11 days. The retail team have been in for the last 48 hours to replenish it.

"The shop is a third of the original size and pretty much everything is in stock apart from the counters - the butcher, bakery and fish mongers."

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