Sainsbury’s keeping mum over start date for new Gorleston store

The route of the A143/A12 link road, which will join Gorleston and Bradwell. Picture: Mike Page

The route of the A143/A12 link road, which will join Gorleston and Bradwell. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Gorleston’s much-anticipated new Sainsbury’s store will not be built until a multi-million pound link road is finished.

Bosses at the supermarket giant said work on the store, on the edge of Beacon Park, will begin once the new 1.8km road between the A143 and A12 is completed.

Work on the multi-million pound road began in earnest this week and was celebrated with a ceremonial ground breaking on Tuesday, close to the site of the new Sainsbury’s, which will provide 350 jobs.

The road is paving the way for 800 new homes, jobs and business growth and is expected to take 12 months to build.

Developer Persimmon has already made a start on building homes at the Bradwell end of the road, but Sainsbury’s is keeping mum about when construction on its store will start.

A spokesman said: “The first stage of the construction will be the building of a new link road. Once completed, this new link road will provide access to the site of our new Sainsbury’s and the wider vision to bring more businesses to Beacon Park, and new homes. We will review the construction programme for our new store once the link road has been built.”

Members of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s cabinet will discuss the construction of the Sainsbury roundabout - a key component of the link road - at a meeting next week.

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Council leader Trevor Wainwright said the authority was in contact with the chain but members had never been given a date for when construction would start. He said: “It would be nice to see it open as soon as possible but these things all take a bit of time. I was told [it would open] at the end of 2015 or early 2016.

“It’s up to Sainsbury’s and their people when they decide to start the build and plan their openings.

“They have planning permission and everything is proceeding on track. We’re confident it will all proceed as agreed.”

The link road has long been on the cards but after £4.7m of government funding was secured earlier this year, transport bosses were finally able to get the ball rolling. It will cost £6.7m in total and will alleviate traffic and congestion through the town, as well as opening up the land for development.

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said it was “fantastic” work had now started.“When you see it actually happening and see the road coming through, homes starting to be developed and when Sainsbury’s gets on site, it’s showing real progress,” he added. It’s also opening up the area, which will be better for the whole community. In the long terms it will be beneficial for the town and businesses of Gorleston because people coming from the Belton/Burgh Castle area will have easier access.”

The project has been pushed by Norfolk County Council, the borough council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which Beacon Park is part of. Contractors are keen to complete the road as quickly as possible as the government’s “pinch point” cash must be spent by April 1. Money from the borough council and Persimmon will cover the last stretch once the pinch point funding is spent.