Approval for store plans

Land at the rear of 24/82 Preston Road which is the site of a suspected Sainsbury's store
Land at the rear of 24/82 Preston Road which is the site of a suspected Sainsbury's store

A PROPOSAL to build a large supermarket on wasteland in Standish has been given the green light.

Developers Venetian Estates have won approval for a 1,900 sq m store on land north of Standish crossroads.

A numbers of retailers are believed to be considering making a pitch for the site in a bid to capitalise on the surge in new homes in the area.

However, Sainsbury’s, who are said by residents to be the hot favourites to take over the site, refuse to confirm if they are to move into the village.

The proposal was voted through by councillors on Tuesday night despite developers admitting they were yet to announce a retail tenant for the site.

Agent for Venetian Estates Alban Cassidy said after the meeting: “At the present time there is no operator confirmed for the site. In the meantime we will be looking at the detailed design which did not form part of this application.”

Earlier he had told the meeting that the site, which had taken £3.5m to secure, already had outline planning permission for a medical centre, offices and retail.

But he said the Venetian scheme would generate an estimated 40 per cent less traffic than if the earlier permission had been acted on.

“The disparity of the current uses on the site do nothing for the amenity of the area,” added Mr Cassidy.

The meeting was also told there was overwhelming support for the scheme in Standish, with councillors receiving just four letters of objection compared to 27 in support, and a 40-name petition backing the project.

However, Standish independent councillor Gareth Fairhurst said many residents had voiced their opposition to him about the project.

“While this site need tidying up the council shouldn’t allow three buildings on the front to be demolished to open up the site just so a supermarket can have its store seen,” said Coun Fairhurst, who has pledged to write to Sainsbury’s chief executive Jason King outlining his concerns.

The new development’s extensive car park will offer three hours free use which will not be restricted to customers, so will boost the footfall for adjoining shops, it is claimed by the developers.

Director of Economy Steve Normington said the site was currently home to a number of uses which could potentially cause noise nuisance, without planning restrictions.