Work to start on new Sainsbury’s after two unsuccessful legal challenges

Work is due to start on the new Sainsbury’s to be built on Meols Cop Retail Park in Southport.

Work has been delayed for years after several legal challenges to the proposals, but Sefton Council has now confirmed that work will start in the ‘coming weeks’. The old Homebase site has stood empty for many years and demolition work to remove the empty retail unit which occupies much of the retail park is expected to begin next month.

The Meols Cop shopping park site in Southport was first set aside for the new supermarket in 2015 but has faced pushbacks since then. After being referred to the Secretary of State and a High Court ruling, the former Homebase site is finally set to become a new Sainsbury’s store and petrol station, just yards from an Aldi, Home Bargains and Tesco Extra.

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The approval comes with non-negotiable conditions, the main condition being that Sainsbury’s will not be allowed to close its town center store in St. George’s Place within five years of opening its Meols Cop store. In 2017, Sainsbury’s received planning permission to demolish the former Homebase site at Meols Cop Retail Park and build a 60,000 square foot store and service station.

The request was highly controversial and was only approved following a five-day public inquiry, requested by former Southport MP and now Councilor John Pugh in 2015. Sefton Council have now confirmed to the Liverpool Echo that following two legal challenges this particular planning application is now complete and demolition work will begin.