PLANS for a new convenience store could bring a jobs boost to Wigan.
Wigan Council has received an application from Chester-based developers Cityheart to build a Sainsbury’s Local on the site of a former petrol station forecourt, next to the Brocket Arms pub in Mesnes Road.
It is the latest in a new wave of convenience stores that being seen as a profitable way forward for major retailers. Several are already springing up in Wigan.
Peta Brydon, acquisitions manager for Sainsbury’s North West, said: “We believe this is an excellent opportunity to bring this important site, situated about half a mile north of the town centre, back into commercial use.
“Sainsbury’s Locals are not full-sized supermarkets and provide a convenient location to do a basket shop, topping up their main weekly shop.”
Other convenience stores which have been opened recently throughout the borough include a Tesco on Gidlow lane, Beech Hill and Morrisons in Bryn and Woodhouse Lane, Beech Hill.
If approved the plans will see a new 4,300sq food store complete with a cash machine and an allocation of up to six car parking spaces.
The proposals, which would significantly improve choice for local shoppers, would also create up to 25 full and part-time jobs for the local community.
David Savage, development Director at Cityheart said: “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting project.
“This is a significant investment in the local community, which will enhance the retail area and also provide a timely boost to the local economy, providing much-needed jobs.”
The proposed Sainsbury’s Local would trade from 7am until 11pm every day. Sainsbury’s has also applied for a licence to allow the store to sell alcohol.
The plans will now be considered by Wigan Council and bosses at Sainsbury’s hope that the store will be on schedule to open by September. Other planning applications for the Mesnes Road site have, since the petrol station closed more than 10 years ago, have been rejected.
These include an application to build a hand car wash which was furiously opposed to by neighbours.
Nearby residents feared that approval of the plan would only revive a multitude of problems created by the past petrol station car wash, such as flooding, increased traffic and noise pollution.
Nine letters of objection to the car wash were received by the council and the planning authority agreed a site visit to assess the concerns at the time of the application.
The site of the former petrol station has been derelict now for a number of years after it closed down.