MORE than nine out of 10 people visiting a three-day exhibition outlining proposals to rebuild Sainsbury’s Rustington supermarket supported the plans.
Hundreds of people took the opportunity to study details of the scheme, which would double the sales area to about 73,500 sq ft in a new building raised on pillars above much of the existing car park. The exhibition was held at the store itself on Thursday evening, and then on Friday and Saturday in the former Edlows bookshop premises in Rustington’s shopping centre.
Visitors had an opportunity to fill in feedback forms which, together with comments received from a special website remaining online until early February, will feed into Sainsbury’s public consultation.
David Lowin, director of WYG Planning & Design, consultants for Sainsbury’s, said the company had decided to go ahead with a complete rebuild of the supermarket after research among customers showed they felt the existing store was congested.
“People were also having to go elsewhere for things they couldn’t get in the store, so Sainsbury’s needed to improve the ‘offer’ there, both for food, and ‘add-ons’ such as clothing and toys,” he said.
Mr Lowin added that he expected a full planning application would be submitted within weeks, taking into consideration the results of the consultation. It would create about 100 new jobs and would include energy-saving measures such as heating either from a ground-source system or bio-mass boiler, state-of-the-art chiller cabinets which recycled warm and chilled air for use elsewhere in the store, and roof lights making the most of natural lighting. Panels to generate solar electricity may also be fitted. While the store is rebuilt, Sainsbury’s would relocate to the nearby former Focus DIY premises.