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LABOUR’S EMILY BROTHERS RAISES CONCERNS OVER SAINSBURY DEVELOPMENT
THURSDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2014   

 

 

 

Photograph - Emily at the Gas Holder’s Building Site

 

Sainsbury’s has announced that it has taken a charge of £287m because some of their sites will no longer be developed or re-configured. On 12/11/14 they reported a half-year loss before tax of £290m and said that like-for-like sales had fallen 2.1% during the period. It expects like-for-like sales in the sector to be negative "for the next few years".
Responding to the Council’s announcement at last Tuesday’s (25/11/14) Sutton Local Committee meeting that the new Sainsbury’s development on the old Gas Holder site is to be subject to variation, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Sutton and Cheam, Emily Brothers said:
“We all know that changing shopping habits are affecting supermarket sales, so it is bewildering that Sainsbury’s have only now come to this realisation. People shop more frequently and use online, convenience and discount retailers more – so their quest to build more large-scale stores has been perplexing.
“I’m concerned about delays that might arise from the development of the old Gas Holder Site which is to feature a new Sainsbury’s Super Store and 186 flats. This is apparently now subject to a future application for variation, to reduce the size of the store and to increase the number of flats.
“Whilst I’m not against this in principle, I am very concerned that too many planning applications are submitted, only later in the process to be configured differently to suit commercial interests alone. Once the bulldozers move in, it is more difficult to protect community interests when developers try to change what has already been brokered.
“Many residents in the local area, particularly in Vale Road and Crown Road, have raised concerns about disruption, noise and the potential impact of vibrations on their homes. Delays will not help matters.
“Re-developing this site is long over due, so I welcome the progress that has been made to date. However, I do think Lib Dem Sutton Council should have insisted that the original plans should have included some units being designated for social housing. Any request for additional units to compensate for a smaller Sainsbury’s store is an opportunity for Lib Dem Sutton Council to rectify their earlier mistake.
“Although there is talk of reducing the size of the proposed new store in Sutton, there is a serious risk that it doesn’t go ahead at all and we are left with a building site. That’s why Lib Dem Sutton council can’t afford to be complacent about the situation, nor should they panic over threats to pull the plans. That’s why I’m calling on Lib Dem Councillors to stand up for local people should the developers seek to re-negotiate, instead of their usual pandering to commercial interests.”
Supermarkets in the UK are engaged in a bitter price war that has pushed the grocery market into deflation, according to October 2014 figures from market research firm Kantar Worldpanel. Sainsbury's lost market share to rivals including fellow supermarket giant Asda and discounters Aldi and Lidl. Thus, it will reduce capital expenditure to between £500m and £550m a year over the next three years. Sainsbury's will continue to devote more of its store space to non-food items, including clothing, cookware, homeware and seasonal products.
     

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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