Merseyside Homebase Store Shutting Down To Make Way For Controversial Supermarket

A Merseyside Homebase store is shutting down to make way for a controversial supermarket development.
 
Staff at the Homebase store in Meol’s Cop, Southport , were told yesterday that the shop is to close and that they would lose their jobs.
 
The store was at the centre of a planning controversy over a new Sainsbury’s superstore and petrol station.
 
Sainsbury’s wanted to take over the Homebase site and the two units next door to open a 60,000 sq ft store. It said the store would create 400 new jobs.
 
The plan first went to Sefton Council in October 2014 but a huge backlash from local residents meant it was referred to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.
 
Campaigners, including then Southport MP John Pugh, said the plan could damage Southport town centre and put a strain on the local road network.
 
But the plan was approved by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid late last year.
 
Homebase was founded by Sainsbury’s in 1979 but was sold on in 2006.
 
A Homebase spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the lease has expired at our Southport store and we have entered into a consultation period regarding the proposed closure.
 
“Our priority now is to continue supporting team members.”
 
Homebase declined to comment on when the store might close or how many staff might be affected.
 
The company also has stores in Formby, Warrington and Upton, Wirral.
 
Asked when the new store might open, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We are discussing our next steps with the developer and will update the community as we progress.”
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