“Aspirational” Chipping Sodbury and the Waitrose Effect

Paul Hajek | 6 Jul 2011

Chipping Sodbury is a market town on the edge of the southern Cotswolds. A fine example of medieval town planning. 

I have run Clutton Cox solicitors in Chipping Sodbury for more than 25 years.

I love Chipping Sodbury.

Chipping Sodbury has a band of hard-working shop, Solicitors, Estate Agents, café and pub owners, but also exhibits a sense of retail decline with a preponderance of charity shops.

The shops in particular, have suffered over the years at the hands of Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets a little over a mile away in Yate.

Good News for Chipping Sodbury:

Waitrose has just received outline planning permission for a new supermarket in Chipping Sodbury, just behind the High Street, adjacent to an old quarry.

Why such good news: well, the Waitrose effect; a fact which may have been obvious to some, but was given a raised awareness in the Property Section of the Times back in April.

The Waitrose effect:

The “Waitrose effect” is the “phenomenon by which the fortunes of a suburb or town are transformed by the arrival of this particular supermarket”

The article also suggested that in an otherwise gloomy retail and property climate “the Waitrose effect” appears to be having a remarkable impact.

The theory goes that if an area has a Waitrose then that is some sort of social approval, an aspirational place to live 

Chipping Sodbury High Street will benefit: as the inevitable “footfall” increases, new businesses will seek to open to share in the collateral benefit.

For example, a new Waitrose store which opened in Kenilworth in 2008 has lead to a regeneration of their High Street with at least 10 new shops and food outlets opening.

The Waitrose Effect on House Prices:

For those of you who may already be ahead of me you may not be surprise to discover that Estate Agents claim a direct influence of the desirability of the area. House prices will stabilise and remain strong.

Indeed, a second phase of the Quarry development (yet to obtain full planning permission) will also result in much needed new housing for Chipping Sodbury

As with all planning permissions, there were dissenters.

But, as the owner of Clutton Cox Solicitors in Chipping Sodbury, I genuinely feel that the announcement of the new Waitrose supermarket can and will enhance Chipping Sodbury as an aspirational place to live and work once more.

Paul Hajek

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