New Asda plan feeds Sheffield store wars

A NEW battle is looming in Sheffield's store wars - with plans submitted by supermarket giant Asda for a new branch in the south of the city.

The company has identified a site off Waterthorpe Greenway and Beighton Road East, near Drakehouse Retail Park.

Proposals to redevelop the site of Home Decor Innovations, which is aiming to relocate, have been drawn up and submitted to Sheffield Council.

Asda says the store would provide up to 450 jobs and attract shoppers as well as offering competition to Sainsbury's at Crystal Peaks and Morrisons at Oxclose.

Asda spokesman Philip Bartram said: "We are delighted to be proposing this major investment at a time when financial challenges are still biting hard.

"We believe that our scheme has the potential to bring a range of tangible benefits to the local community for many years to come, and we are very keen to hear local views."

The council will investigate the impact of the plans on Crystal Peaks and other shopping areas, and check if surrounding roads could cope with the traffic.

Asda is already building another superstore on Chaucer Road at Parson Cross, Sainsbury's wants to open premises next to Fletcher's Bakery at Wadsley Bridge, and Tesco wants to expand its premises off Abbeydale Road.

The Waterthorpe Asda, open 24 hours a day, would be 45,000 sq ft in size, would sell food and non-food goods, and would have a cafe and around 450 parking spaces. Consultants for the company say the store would serve the Mosborough area, attracting customers who currently go to Sainbury's and Morrisons. They also say there is evidence shoppers are already travelling out of the area to visit Asda at Handsworth.

Asda has drawn up retail and traffic impact studies in a bid to improve its case, and is planning to create a new roundabout to ease traffic flows. A decision on the application is not expected for months.

Proposals for an Aldi budget supermarket on part of the car park of Damon's restaurant off Sevenairs Road were rejected by the council because of traffic concerns.

Aldi has now dropped plans for a store in Crystal Peaks and has turned to a site on the Turner Business Park - near the Asda at Handsworth.

* Asda is holding a public exhibition about its plans, on Thursday February 3, from 12noon until 7pm, and Friday February 4, between 10am and 5pm, at Rainbow Forge Primary School, Beighton Road, Hackenthorpe.

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