Superstore set for expansion

AN edge-of-Ipswich supermarket has put in fresh proposals to extend its premises - and increase floorspace for goods by a whopping 35 per cent.Sainsbury's at Warren Heath was given permission a year ago to revamp its store.

AN edge-of-Ipswich supermarket has put in fresh proposals to extend its premises - and increase floorspace for goods by a whopping 35 per cent.

Sainsbury's at Warren Heath was given permission a year ago to revamp its store.

But now bosses are asking Suffolk Coastal to approve new plans which will allow for an even bigger expansion.

The new store will be 10,100 sq m compared with the current 7,675 sq m. With some internal rearrangement - including putting the current concessions area into the main store - it will mean a 35pc increase.

Bosses say the extra space will mean they can create a new entrance, better lay-out with wider aisles, and a slightly larger restaurant.

Like Tesco at Martlesham Heath - its nearest and main rival - it will increase its range of goods, though it will still be predominantly a grocery store.

Most Read

Sainsbury is confident its expansion will not affect other shopping centres, such as Ipswich town centre or smaller community shopping centres, but it expects to claw back some of the business lost to Tesco since it extended its goods to include clothing, home entertainment, electrical, kitchen and baby accessories.

Tesco reckoned its expansion would increase turnover by £20 million a year following its expansion two years ago, while Sainsbury estimates its extension will bring in £4.5m more a year - with nearly half that from Tesco customers it believes have left Sainsbury and will now return.

The project comes before councillors tomorrow and is set to be approved.

Case officer Bob Chamberlain said officers were satisfied the development would not adversely affect the vitality and viability of any nearby centre or the rural economy.

“As an extension to an existing store it is seen to be in a sustainable location with good access to public transport routes and with a significant role to play as a district centre serving the expanding residential population locally,” he said.

In addition, there will be an improved lay-out to the car park, plus a new route in and out of the site for delivery lorries.

At present, trucks enter via the roundabout near the petrol station and go behind Homebase, along a fence at the bottom of Woodrush Road residents' gardens to the rear of the supermarket.

In future, they will enter off a new entrance on Felixstowe Road onto a new road directly at the rear of the store. However, as it will be a left-turn entry and exit only, they will have to travel to St Augustine's roundabout and back to reach the new entrance.

What do you think of the proposals to expand Sainsbury's? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter