Gateway store set to go ahead

Artists impression of proposed Sainsbury's store for Blackpool.
Artists impression of proposed Sainsbury's store for Blackpool.
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SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s looks set to get the go ahead for its landmark new store in Blackpool.

The council’s planning committee is being recommended to grant the ambitious scheme when it meets on Monday.

The approval will pave the way for construction to begin next year on a site between George Street, Buchanan Street, Cookson Street, Talbot Road and New Larkhill Street.

It is hoped the store, which will create 400 full and part-time jobs, will open in 2013.

Detailed plans reveal the supermarket will be built over four floors with retail on the ground floor, a mezzanine floor including a cafe and staff facilities, and topped by two levels of car parking with the upper level being on the roof.

It is expected to be open 24 hours, apart from Sunday evenings.

Architects have created a design with a glass frontage overlooking a new area of public open space, provisionally named Talbot Plaza.

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Talbot Road will remain open to two-way traffic while Buchanan Street and George Street will be upgraded to become a main route in and out of the town centre.

A report to the planning committee says: “Sainsbury’s is considered to be a quality brand name which will significantly improve the retail food offer of the town centre.”

The store, along with the construction of new council offices, the refurbishment of Talbot Road multi-storey car park, and the resurfacing of the Banks Street car park, make up phase one of the £220m new Central Business District.

Further phases around North Station are expected to be completed over a 13 year period.

Ward councillor Sarah Riding said: “It is brilliant to have a really good quality supermarket which will bring jobs.”