SAINSBURY’S will not be building a superstore in Bishop’s Waltham.
George Hollingbery, the MP for the Meon Valley, met representatives from the supermarket today and has revealed that the chain will not be pressing forward with its plans to build a store.
The plan first came to light in 2009 and divided the town, with some people opposed to a retail giant moving in, but some in favour of the expanded doctors’ surgery that the scheme would have seen.
Mr Hollingbery said: ‘I met with Sainsbury’s today after pressing the company for several months over what is happening to this important community asset that includes a doctors’ surgery as well as the supermarket.
‘I was told during that meeting that Sainsbury’s will not be developing the site in Bishop’s Waltham and they will be marketing it to other buyers with immediate effect.
‘This news has clear implications for the town, especially with regards to the GP surgery that will remain in cramped conditions.
‘On the plus side, the decision may lead to housing being built on the land, so lessening the need for green field development sites in the area. This outcome will depend on who buys it and I only hope that a sale is completed as soon as possible so that local residents will know what the future holds.’
A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: ‘We have not taken this decision lightly and are very disappointed we are not able to open a new shop in Bishop’s Waltham.
‘Since the proposals were first announced, shopping patterns have changed considerably and following a review, the scheme is no longer viable for us.
‘We have been extremely grateful for the level of local support for the scheme and recognise that this news will be very disappointing to many people.
‘We will work closely with the council and others to look at longer-term options for the site and will keep the community updated.’