Work on new super store set to begin next month

Work on new super store set to begin next month

by Tom Martin (June 2022)

after years of legal wrangling, High Court challenges and opposition from local campaign groups, work is finally about to get underway on a controversial superstore on the outskirts of Southport.

Construction of a new Sainsbury’s in Kew will begin in the coming weeks - seven years after it was first proposed!

As part of the works, Sefton Council is due to authorise the closure of a footpath which runs next to Fine Janes Brook and links Meols Cop Road with Foul Lane. The unnamed footpath will be temporarily closed from July 28, 2022 until 31st May 31, 2023 or until the works are completed.

Work to build the new Sainsbury’s store could get underway as early as next month with contractors moving on site.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson confirmed: “We’re pleased that our plans for Meols Cop Retail Park will now go ahead and we look forward to opening our new store once built.”

As well as the supermarket, there will also be a petrol station, a public recycling facility and new car parking.

A planning application to build a mega store on  Meols Cop retail  park was first submitted to Sefton Council in 2015.

When the proposal was first revealed, it was met with huge opposition due to concerns it would lead to a drop in town centre footfall and harm local businesses.

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It led to  several legal challenges and the application was referred to the High Court.

The Champion reported last year how the council’s original decision to approve the plan was then backed by a High Court ruling.

Sainsbury’s, and landlord UBS, which is responsible for construction of the site, argued that the new development will create jobs, give a much-needed boost to part of a retail park which has become empty and derelict, and will provide greater choice for shoppers.  The site previously housed a Homebase store.

The investment, say Sainsbury’s, will support more than 200 jobs during the construction phase of the 50,300 sq ft store and 30 full time positions and 130 part time roles once the store is open. 

As part of the agreement, Sainsbury’s existing Southport town centre store, on Great George’s Place just off Lord Street, must remain in place for at least the next five years. 

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