Sainsbury’s store still on the cards

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SAINSBURY’S is making a fresh bid to open a store in Stamford.

The supermarket has confirmed it wants to open on the Focus DIY site on the Markham Retail Park, off Ryhall Road.

It is now in talks with the retail park owners about a legal covenant which stops more than one outlet selling food there. Discount food store Lidl currently has a store at the retail park.

Plans for a Sainsbury’s supermarket on the Focus site were approved by South Kesteven District Council in 2008, but had to be shelved when details of the covenant emerged.

Sainsbury’s spokesman Richard Harris told the Mercury this week: “Talks are ongoing but we should have some concrete news by early next week.”

The supermarket chain first unveiled plans to open in Stamford in 2007 and submitted an application after public consultation. Last week the company submitted an application for roofing materials to be approved, which was one of the conditions imposed when planning permission was first granted.

Sainsbury’s had initially hoped to open by spring 2009 and said its new store would create about 230 jobs.

Focus DIY went into administration last month.

Its joint administrators managed to sell 55 stores nationwide, but could not sell the whole business and the other stores are to cease trading.

A sale is on at the Stamford store and all 12 staff are expected to lose their jobs.

Focus was unable to comment on the Sainsbury’s application.

The supermarket is considering its options for Oakham after Rutland County Council refused its application for a store and petrol station on the corner of Lands’ End Way and Burley Park Way in March.

Mr Harris said the Stamford application would not affect plans for Oakham.