After a deferral earlier this month, plans for the supermarket at Meols Cop retail park were approved by Sefton Council yesterday.
The proposal was previously deferred on the 3 July planning committee to allow sufficient time for Members to give full consideration to “significant new information” that had been submitted on the day of planning committee.
Planning permission was granted by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in December 2016 following a public inquiry, but the application has since been reconfigured and downsized from the original application of 120,000 sq ft to 80,000 sq ft, with a net internal sales area of 50,600 sq ft. This is a 30,000 sq ft reduction in retail space from the original planning permission.
Despite these alterations, the project remained contentious. The council received a petition containing 30 signatures, endorsed by Cllr John Pugh, against the development. The petition said that a new supermarket is unnecessary as the area is already well served; that new jobs might not be created from its opening; that there was no need for a petrol station; that there will be increased congestion; and that overall the scheme was not felt to bring benefit to the local area.
Objections were also received from Asda, Southport & Windsor Properties, and Cllr Tony Dawson.
The development is set to be built on three vacant retail units which are to be demolished, and will include a car park and petrol station.
The approval is subject to a further ruling by the Secretary of State, completion of Section 106 agreement to ensure Sainsbury’s existing Lord Street store would remain open for a minimum five-year period, a commitment to local labour provision, and a list of 35 building and operational clauses.
The proposal is designed by Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson for Sainsburys and UBS. BNP Paribas Securities were the applicant, with Savills acting as the agent. Sainsbury’s professional team is made up with Todd & Ledson as the cost consultant, Vectos for transport, and Aspect Landscape Planning. Sefton is advised by Nexus.