PEOPLE in Crewkerne are welcoming the arrival of the new Waitrose store, due to open in the autumn.

Reactions to the supermarket giant have been positive, despite building work disrupting the flow of traffic and causing parking shortfalls in the town centre.

Work on the South Street development got underway in October and has resulted in a complete overhaul of the area, with traffic restrictions put in place and a change to town centre parking facilities.

A temporary pay and display car park has been set up in Henhayes Recreation Ground to replace the South Street car park that has been closed to make way for contractors.

But the mood of the townspeople remains upbeat.

Ken and Barbara Hutton of Crewkerne said: "We have been shopping in Waitrose for the past seven years and think it will be very good for the town.

"The facilities that the supermarket is providing will benefit all the residents."

The development will also include a new day centre and a 272-space car park, split over two levels, which will serve the shop and the town centre.

Simon Wotton of Merriot said: "I think it is good news for Crewkerne as it will encourage people from nearby villages to shop in the town instead of going to larger places such as Yeovil."

But concerns have been raised over whether Crewkerne needs another supermarket, with Somerfield and the Co-Op in close proximity to the new store.

Others have argued that the site is too small for the scale of development proposed.

Peter Osmond of West Chinnock said: "They should have considered the flow of traffic more carefully, the Co-Op lorries look like they are struggling to make into the delivery bay because of the way that they have been redirected."

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