OCADO has reaffirmed its commitment to Andover with a bid to build temporary facilities following the fire that ripped through its warehouse.

The blaze destroyed the facility in Walworth Business Park and was tackled by more than 200 firefighters for four days, while nearby homes were evacuated.

It was later revealed that the online retailer were in talks with staff about the possibility of up to 400 job cuts, but now the company has lodged an application with Test Valley Borough Council to construct temporary facilities on the site of its car park at plot 54 which will allow it to “maintain a level of employment in the area”.

The company has said that it has lost around 30,000 customer orders per week from the original site and the temporary operations will allow it to return to 2/3 operating capacity.

The proposal is to build a temporary spoke, including modular docking unit, temperature controlled storage, staff facilities and offices, along with using an existing vehicle wash as storage, which Ocado says will “allow the site to remain partially operational on a temporary basis whilst the refurbishment work associated with a recent fire at plot 54 is carried out”.

The plans added: “The proposal is necessary to provide key temporary infrastructure to the site and is sensitively designed and sited to ensure the proposal does not fetter future development of the site and is entirely reversible. In light of the above, the proposal is considered acceptable in planning terms and it is respectfully requested that permission is granted.

“The installation of the cross-dock facility will enable Ocado to reactivate operations at the Andover site, which will reinstate the original 100 Van fleet into operation. Re-engaging staff on site and helping to open our geography back to match into our pervious customer service offer.”

There will also be modification of the company shop to create a lounge for drivers.

“This temporary solution will enable us to re-commence activities by solving the immediate problem whilst we actively work towards our long term plans for the site in part or as a whole,” the company said.

To view the plans, go to testvalley.gov.uk/planning-and-building/viewplanningapplicationsonline and search 19/01031/FULLN.