New Supermarket Applies for Extended Opening Hours

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Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has put in a planning application to Southampton City Council to have the opening hours of its new store in Portswood extended.

If passed, the yet-to-be-opened supermarket would be open from 7:00am to 11:00pm Mondays to Fridays, offering students in the Highfield and Portswood areas an alternative place to shop late at night.

As well as the change to trading times, the 50,000 square feet store has also requested the rights to include a pharmacy in its store.

Keith Reed, committee member of the Highfield Residents Association, has sent an open letter to the City Council objecting to the proposed licence changes, saying “It’s really disappointing they have refused to take on board local residents’ feedback and stopped working with them to address these concerns.”

After months of anticipation, the new supermarket, located across the road from the Mitre Pub, is set to open at the end of February and will put pressure on nearby rivals, Co-Op, Tesco Express and Waitrose.

The store has also advertised a handful of part-time jobs ideal for students, and have begun the interview process.

The Wessex Scene will be looking at the effects of the new supermarket on students and local businesses at a later date.

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Discussion2 Comments

  1. avatar

    The objection letter seems to be objecting for the sake of objecting, I don’t see any valid reasoning behind his claims. 11pm is hardly a late opening time (many supermarkets in towns are often 24 hours or at least open to midnight).

    Also, his objection to stop the public using the carpark earlier and later than shop opening hours seems counter productive, if there is parking perhaps people will actually shop in Portswood?

    Later opening hours also will mean more jobs will be created for the area (and while some can be filled by students not all jobs will be student based).

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    Campaign_To_Help_Portswoods_Shops

    It would be good if the Wessex Scene could motivate its readers to add their letters of complaint to help block Sainsbury’s from riding roughshod over the wishes of local residents and the local council in seeking to protect the shops in Portswood.

    Having been originally restricted by the council for good reason, which has been supported by local residents and students, and with the council recently upholding the restrictions in the face of an appeal for their removal by Sainsbury’s, Sainsbury’s in Portswood is appealing to the government’s Planning Inspectorate in another bid to extend its opening hours.

    Having seen the comments in Wessex Scene complaining about the number of charity shops in Portswood already, clearly none of us want to see Portswood with more charity shops or even vacant shops. It is important to do our bit to preserve chemists and greengrocers and other small shops on the high street.

    The Sainsbury’s store was built on the basis it was going to be of a certain size and with a number of planning constraints to protect local shops, and with a number of benefits to the local community.

    Over time the size of the store was increased, the benefits to the community largely fell by the wayside and were dropped from revised plans, and almost as soon as the store was open they were applying to remove the planning restrictions which had been placed upon the store.

    This clearly has not gone down well with many local residents and students who like the shops in Portswood, and the value they represent, and Wessex Scene has already contributed to this debate.

    Residents and the council have upheld the planning restrictions, but it now seems Sainsburys wish to go over their head and force it through, regardless of the damage this could cause to the local shops.

    If Sainsbury’s are allowed a pharmacy, then it could threaten the viability of Boots, and the other two chemists in Portswood, and would also make it harder for Waitrose.

    Personally, I prefer the local shops and Waitrose, as Waitrose is generally cheaper than Sainsbury’s, and much nicer, and the local staff there are so friendly, many of whom have been working there for many years, since the store was a Morrisons and before that Safeways.

    I do not find Sainsbury’s to be good value for money, and therefore am not surprised they seem to be struggling to get the support of shoppers in Portswood, and so seem keen to put pressure on the local shops in any way they can.

    See the article on Portswood.info

    Sainsbury’s appeals over opening hours
    Tuesday, 29 May 2012
    Sainsbury’s in Portswood is appealing to the government’s Planning Inspectorate in another bid to extend its opening hours.

    http://portswood.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1011&Itemid=59

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