250 new jobs in store as plan gets go-ahead
A new £20 million Sainsbury’s supermarket and petrol filling station on the outskirts of Haddington will create up to 250 full-time and part-time jobs.
Construction at the Gateside West site can now get under way as East Lothian Council’s planning committee gave the project final approval at a meeting on Tuesday.
The store will be built on 9.1 hectares of land at the western edge of the town including the Gateside Commerce Park and the land of the former Oaktree petrol filling station.
But a spokesman for Sainbury’s couldn’t say when construction would start or give a definite timescale for delivery of the supermarket which will have a gross floor area of 2,700 sq m and a total net sales area of 2,355 sq m.
Vehicular access for customers would be taken from the B6471 road via a new traffic signal junction some 90 metres east of the Oaktree roundabout junction.
A new footpath would be formed to the north east of the supermarket to provide a pedestrian link between it and the Haddington to Longniddry railway walk, part of which would be hard surfaced, with street lighting installed.
The plan attracted six objections, including four from the residents of Knowesley Park, who were worried about light pollution.
Councillor Tom Trotter said: “This application has had its fair share of comments for and against it, and it has taken some time for it to get to this stage. Planning permission had already been granted in principle and I think it’s time to move on.
“This area at the western access to the town is an eyesore and this project will finally put an end to this.
“There are still some concerns but I think officers have them covered in their recommendations. There is a bit of a buzz about Haddington at the moment and I look forward to the applicant, as has previously been stated, playing a part in its future.”
Councillor Ludovic Broun-Lindsay agreed that it had been “a long time coming” to reach this point.
The area’s other local councillor John McMillan added: “I think this is a real boost in terms of jobs and economic development – it is a good move forward.”
He said officers had given a clear briefing of access and transport issues at the site visit which had allayed many of his concerns.
Councillor Jim Goodfellow wondered how the plan would affect the future re-opening of the rail link from Haddington to Longniddry.
Brian Stalker, the council’s development control manager, said: “I don’t think there would be a prejudice in this scheme of development against the future opening up of that line for rail traffic in the future.”
Convener Norman Hampshire commented: “We have been waiting on investment coming into East Lothian and uncertainty doesn’t help other investors.
“So to get a major supermarket to have the confidence to invest in East Lothian, I think that will help to attract other investors to come here because it is a growing area.”
Andrew Sanderson, Sainsbury’s development manager, said: “We look forward to continuing to work with the local community to ensure the store is a welcome addition to the area.” About one third of the 250 new jobs will be full-time.
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