The long-awaited opening of Sainsbury’s in Portswood will take place next Wednesday, it has been announced today.
Controversy surrounding the store and its impact on the local community had hindered its development before January 2011 when the planning application was finally accepted.
Bosses behind the site believe the new store will benefit the Portswood community due to the number of jobs it will provide. However, the Wessex Scene reported earlier this year that local greengrocer, Gannaways, had decided not to renew its lease based on the threat of the new supermarket.
Despite objections from Portswood Residents’ Gardens and the Highfield Residents’ Association, Sainsbury’s is already in the process of trying to reverse some of the restrictions placed on the new store which aim to protect the local, small businesses in Portswood.
Bosses hope to be able to include a new in-store pharmacy, a proposal which was originally rejected due to the presence of two individual pharmacies on Portswood high street. The intention is also to eventually increase opening hours to cater for the late-night student market.
Resident of Portswood and student of the University of Southampton, Emily, said of the new Sainsbury’s:
“I am happy that a new store will be opening to provide a greater variety of supermarket shopping in the local vicinity. I do buy my fruit and vegetables from the local greengrocers at the moment but I don’t think that will change. They can’t be beaten on price really and they have a lot of support in the community so hopefully they won’t be too affected.”
The new Sainsbury’s will open its doors on next Wednesday 14th March.