An artist's impression of the proposed new Sainsbury's supermarket at Meols Cop retial park in Southport

A new Click & Collect facility could be built next to the new Sainsbury’s superstore in Southport. 

Building work is currently taking place for the new 50,300 sq ft flagship facility at Meols Cop retail park, with the opening due to take place later this year. 

The huge scheme will create 160 new jobs and revitalise the retail park, following the closure of the Homebase store six years ago. 

The new Sainsbury’s will include a four-pump petrol filling station and a recycling centre. 

A planning application has now been submitted for some changes to the original scheme, which was granted planning permission in 2020. 

They include: 

  • New Click & Collect facility adjacent to the store. 
  • EV parking bays relocated to suit and bay size increased. 
  • New power supply within an enclosed fence to service EV chargers. 
  • Motorcycle parking bay relocated to suit. 
  • Resultant reduction of 13no standard parking bays. 
  • New ASHP units within service yard, replacing previous CHP (thereby reducing reliance on gas power). 

The application, submitted by Savills, says: “The proposed alterations do not change the principle, function or the appearance of the approved development. 

“Critically, the proposed change does not raise any impacts above and beyond those which were assessed and confirmed to be acceptable as part of the original application.”

The former Homebase store and the two adjoining units where the new Sainsbury’s will be have now been demolished.

The initial permission was granted by Sefton’s planning committee in 2016.

Objectors had raised concerns over the possible impact on trade on Southport town centre if the new superstore was allowed to open. 

Sainsbury’s, and landlord UBS, which is responsible for construction of the site, argued that the new development will create jobs, give a much-needed boost to part of a retail park which had become half-empty, and will provide greater choice for shoppers. 

As part of the agreement, Sainsbury’s existing Southport town centre store, on Great George’s Place just off Lord Street, must remain in place for at least the next five years. 

The former Homebase store at Meols Cop retail park is being demolished to make way for a new Sainsburys superstore. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

The former Homebase store at Meols Cop retail park is being demolished to make way for a new Sainsburys superstore. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: 

“We’re pleased that our plans for Meols Cop Retail Park will now go ahead and we look forward to opening our new store once built.”

The investment by Sainsbury’s is supporting over 200 jobs during construction of the 50,300 sq ft flagship store.

It will create up to 200 jobs including 30 full time positions and 130 part time roles in the store and meet the shopping needs of the community. 

Last year, The High Court ruled in favour of the development following a Judicial Review. But the development then faced one final challenge before it was allowed to go ahead.  

All works will be managed by the developer UBS. 

Sainsbury’s had hoped to carry out its store fit out in late 2021 with the store opening by Summer 2022, but this was delayed by the Judicial Review being called.

It is not yet known when the new store will now open, or when building work will begin, although the planning permission sets a time limit on when the work should start.

In 2016 Sainsbury’s was given the green light to build a larger store on the site of the former Homebase store and two adjacent empty retail units which would have created 400 new jobs. 

Their revised smaller plans, which were granted by Sefton Council’s Planning Committee in August 2020 before being sent to the Secretary of State for approval, will see a smaller supermarket than originally planned, with the creation of 160 new jobs. 

The new supermarket will offer a wide range of Sainsbury’s own-brand and branded food ranges, alongside its clothing and general merchandise offer.

An in-store bakery will offer customers a range of freshly baked goods. 

The new store will also play an active role in the local community through its food donation, volunteering and charity programmes. 

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