Sainsbury’s get green light for huge Stevenage expansion

A massive supermarket expansion has been given the go-ahead by a town council, creating jobs but angering nearby residents.

Plans to almost double the size of the Sainsbury’s store at Corey’s Mill in Stevenage were approved, subject to planning conditions, by the town council on Thursday.

The expansion will increase the current 300 full-time equivalent jobs to 425, the supermarket chain said.

The scheme includes a two-storey extension and remodelling of the structure including a new entrance lobby, increasing the size of the store from 6,638 metres square to 11,566, including 2,546 at mezzanine level.

A two-tier car deck has also been approved to provide 130 spaces to compensate for those lost due to expansion, and a new petrol station with additional pumps can be built.

Planning permission is dependent on Sainsbury’s funding improvements to the nearby Junction 8 of the A1M and increasing sustainable transport links at the site.

But residents living in the streets surrounding the site say the development will make their lives a misery with car headlight glare from the car deck, anti-social behaviour, noise, fumes, litter and general intrusion.

Most Read

Stuart Mugford of Ingleside Drive, who opposed the application at the planning committee meeting, said: “There will be a multi-storey car park right outside resident’s windows. It’s not suitable in a residential neighbourhood. The council don’t have to live with the consequences.

“They are going to build this and bring it right up to the height of the houses.

“It seems weird to me that Sainsbury’s can commission a noise report saying their will be no noise impact on neighbours. Are they representing resident’s views or those of big business?

“There will be a lot more noise and disturbance. It’s already heavy with traffic. They are looking to have their cake and eat it. It will mean even more journeys into a heavily congested area.”

Deputy Leader of the council John Gardner said the authority encourages businesses in the town to expand if possible, “because they bring vitality to the local economy and create new jobs, as long as they take care that any potentially negative effects on the local community are minimised.

“We hope to see that local people’s interests are protected. Impacts such as traffic volume and noise were considered at the committee, and taking into account this information the committee resolved to grant planning permission.”

A spokesman for the supermarket chain said a start date for the redevelopment had yet to be fixed, dependent on completing legal terms. But she added the new site would create an “improved offer for our customers”.

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