Supermarket on stilts wins backing from city planners

An artist's impression of the  new Sainsbury's

An artist's impression of the new Sainsbury's

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PLANS to turn an “eyesore” plot into a new Sainsbury’s supermarket on stilts have been given the green light.

Hundreds of residents had backed plans to develop a store on the derelict B&Q site in Inglis Green Road in Longstone, and council officials have now granted approval for the plans.

The site has been vacant since B&Q closed down in 2007.

Last year, Longstone Community Council handed in a petition with more than 500 signatures in support of the 60,000 sq ft supermarket, which will bring the badly vandalised site back into use while also providing about 165 full-time and 330 part-time jobs.

The store, which will also have a café, petrol station and 385 car parking spaces, will be on stilts, allowing cars to park below the supermarket.

Demolition work and site clearance is due to start on the site in May and construction is then hoped to take place towards the end of July.

The store will then open early next summer.

Paul Miller, Sainsbury’s national surveyor for Scotland, said: “This consent is great news for Sainsbury’s and our aspirations for Inglis Green Road.

“Since we became involved in the development, there has been a strong will from the local community to see these plans come forward and I am thankful for the support they gave us and for the councillors’ decision in again backing our plans.

“Edinburgh is a key area for Sainsbury’s in Scotland and I firmly believe that this store will further enhance our existing retail offer in the city.”

Alex Brodie, director of Morbaine, which partnered Sainsbury’s in this application, said: “I am delighted that the planning committee have taken the decision to grant these consents. It has taken a great deal of hard work to get to this stage, and I would again like to thank the local community for their continued support that went a long way in achieving today’s decision.

“From the decision of the initial planning consent last year, a lot of work has gone on in the background and I would also like to thank the local community for their patience and the city’s planners for the prompt way in which they handled this application.”

Longstone Community Council planning member Steuart Campbell, a former architect who helped organise the petition, said: “It is pretty unusual for a community to be so supportive of a super- market development, and I would say part of that is down to the problems of this derelict site being left vacant.

“The offering here for shopping isn’t great and this would be a significant improvement.”

Gordon Macdonald, MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands, also welcomed the decision.

“Since B&Q closed this store in 2007, the area has become very run down and a bit of an eyesore,” he said. “Vandals have covered the building in graffiti and there is some evidence of illegal dumping taking place in the car park.

“Therefore, I welcome this development by Morbaine and Sainsbury’s as it will help to regenerate this area and bring a considerable number of full and part-time jobs.”