Sainsbury’s has put forward plans to build a new store in Arborfield Green as part of a development plan for the Berkshire village. The proposal has been made as part of the development of the new district centre in Arborfield Green.
The supermarket has said it plans to open a ‘neighbourhood hub’ store, which would be a larger version of its convenience stores. It will create 40 jobs in the area and offer a click-and-collect service for customers.
“The store would form part of the district centre off Nine Mile Ride Extension, which we’ve awarded outline planning permission and are now awaiting a more detailed submission from developer Crest Nicholson. The development is required to include this, which we imposed to ensure residents are served by high-quality infrastructure alongside new housing which the Government requires us to take,” said the Wokingham Borough Council.
“We welcome Sainsbury’s news as it shows the financial uncertainty caused by coronavirus and Brexit, which is why the district centre has been delayed, is improving. Further details will come through a separate planning application.”
Crest Nicholson exhibited revised plans for Arborfield Green’s district centre and is now seeking people’s feedback before it submits a planning application to the council. The plans include a supermarket, smaller shops, a square, a community centre, a pub and green space and allotments. Since the plans were first put forward the developer has proposed a different layout and new pedestrian areas.
The plan is running behind schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. The council has apologised to residents for the delay. It said: “We know there’s been frustration at how long this has taken, so we’ve met Crest to discuss these delays and will be pressing them to move as quickly as possible. This project fell behind schedule, in part, due to reasons beyond the developer’s control. The coronavirus pandemic made retailers reluctant to open stores so it was very hard to attract interest from supermarkets.
“Without an ‘anchor’ tenant to attract others, which was also partly down to Brexit, the scheme was unviable for a while. Government guidelines require us to be fair so we didn’t take any further action. However, as time moves on and the national situation improves, we’ll stay in touch with Crest to ensure there are no unnecessary delays.”
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