A HUGE new Sainsbury’s store creating 350 new jobs is set to built in Waterlooville.
Planners at Havant Borough Council have given their backing to the 9,034sq m store which will be built on the former Salvador Cetano site, off Hambledon Road, Waterlooville.
But it could spell the end for nearby Waitrose which has objected to the proposals saying the competition will force it to close.
It is the third application Sainsbury’s has made for the derelict site – the first two were withdrawn because of concerns over traffic problems at the junction of Hambledon Road and Aston Road.
But planning officers feel they have been overcome and have recommended that tomorrow night’s planning committee give the store the go ahead.
Janet Johnston, secretary of Waterlooville Business Association, welcomed the new store.
She said: ‘We think the Sainsbury’s store will fill the gap between Asda and Waitrose, price-wise, and with the new houses going up it’s another pull into the town.
‘It will keep the Sainsbury’s shoppers in Waterlooville and they will hopefully use town centre shops too.
‘It will be an enormous shame if Waitrose goes but shoppers are very loyal and I don’t think they will lose trade. I certainly would not stop shopping at Waitrose when Sainsbury’s is built.’
Under the plans Aston Road will be moved a few feet north west. It will be amended to have a single lane exiting Hambledon Road with three lanes entering that road, two lanes turning towards the town centre and one lane towards Denmead.
In a letter to the council, Waitrose said the store was already having trading difficulties and a rival like Sainsbury’s could kill it. It also said the store would have a negative effect on other shops in the town centre.
The new store will be 25 per cent smaller than the original plans. The nearby recycling centre will move to the new 3,000-home West of Waterlooville estate and a Sainsbury’s petrol station will be built there. A ramp will join Maurepas way to the subway linking the site to the town centre.
The planning meeting is tomorrow at 5pm in the Terrace Bar, Havant College.