Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s have withdrawn their application for a new store and home delivery hub in Eastleigh Town Centre which would have seen , 5,000 square feet of recreational space and 47 trees concreted over.
Eastleigh News understands there had been a series of meetings all day yesterday between Sainsbury’s representatives, council officers and Councillors but – and in spite talk of negotiations -the plan was described as ‘dead’.
In a press statement released this morning Sainsbury’s said it would be “economically unviable” to for them to proceed and they would “not be able to build the store if planning permission was granted.”
A spokesman said:
“We have explained to the council we cannot support the costs of this project”
“We are conscious that this decision will be very disappointing to a lot of people in Eastleigh and would like to thank all those who supported our plans
“We remain open to further discussions with the council”
Eastleigh Borough Council said:
“The Council welcomed Sainsbury’s interest in investing in Eastleigh town centre and is disappointed not to be able to reach a conclusion on this proposal at this time. We continue to look for opportunities to continue the regeneration of the town centre and the borough as a whole.
“We remain open to further discussions with Sainsbury’s in the future on how they might invest in Eastleigh town centre.”
A spokesman for the ‘Rescue the Rec’ action group who staged a joint town centre protest rally with the Save Stoneham Park group last weekend said:
“Although we are happy that construction on our lovely recreation ground will not be going ahead as planned we consider this as just a reprieve. The council have demonstrated they have little regard for the History heritage and environment of the Town centre.
“We agree the town needs investment and a good retail offering but Sainsbury’s proposals for a three storey out-of- town style mega tore was simply too large for the Town Centre.”
Although Sainsbury’s and local Lib Dem councillors had claimed th eplans were supoorted by 90% of Eastleigh residents the council had only received two letters of support while 51 people had taken the time and trouble to object.
- Unacceptable levels of traffic
- Loss of part of the park
- Overshadowing of play area
- Scale too large for town
- Trading impact upon smaller shops
- Construction impact in terms of disturbance and trading impact
- Loss of trees
The planning application was due to be rubber stamped by the area committee next Tuesday after the council planners approved the scheme last week but the meeting has now been cancelled.
People Power! Sainsburys has withdrawn its application to extend onto Eastleigh Rec. Our voice at the rally on Saturday was heard!!!
— Maria Hutchings (@MariaHutchings) September 28, 2012
— Matthew Myatt(Big X) (@Matthew_Myatt) September 28, 2012
See campaign website www.rescuetherec.com