The new Sainsbury’s Megastore in Portswood is launching a second attempt to extend its opening hours to 11pm the local website Portswood.info has reported.
Sainsbury’s – which only opened the superstore in March – originally wanted to remain open till 11pm with the car park shutting at midnight but Southampton City Council heeded the concerns of Highfield Residents Association who claimed that additional traffic as a result of extended trading hours would cause local residents ‘unacceptable disturbance’.
A plan to include a petrol station on the site was also thrown out after objections and the supermarket giant had to revise its original application following a Public enquiry.
Sainsbury’s is now appealing to the planning inspectorate to allow late night trading six days a week.
Eastleigh residents will be interested in the outcome as fears have been expressed that the proposed redevelopment of the towns own branch of Sainsbury – which currently closes at 8 pm – will also result in extended opening with the possibility of late night alcohol sales fuelling anti-social behaviour.
Eastleigh Council has recently revised its alcohol strategy after they were advised that rates of risky drinking in Eastleigh were above the National average and on a worsening trend.
Portswood residents commenting on the story on the Portswood.info website were critical of the Sainsbury’s development:
“When I first heard about the possibility of Sainsbury’s coming to Portswood, I was enthusiastic.
The reality turned out much worse: mainly, it seems, because of a weak planning approval process. The building is far too tall in the landscape: the ceiling is far too high and the tall car park has been put underneath. It’s battleship grey blights the view The method of construction is that of a cheap factory; where is our urban pride?
Why was such a shoddy building approved?
Finally, the children’s playground has been “dumped” on a patch of land by the main road without easy access to the café or toilets.
“We need substantial City employment developments, but not at any price; we should not have let our Planners sell us so cheaply.”
While another posted a link to this image:
Meanwhile earlier this morning, residents in central Eastleigh were surprised to find Sainsbury’s staff delivering leaflets offering a £10 discount if they ordered shopping online from the new Portswood store.
One Newtown resident aged 55, who lives close to the supermarket reacted angrily to the news:
“Sainsbury’s are in the middle of a planning application which they say if approved, will result in more shoppers visiting Eastleigh, yet they are offering incentives to local people to stay at home and have their shopping delivered to them. How is this going to boost town trade?”