Town set for new superstore

PROPOSALS to build a major new superstore in Colchester will be discussed by planning officials next week.

Elliot Furniss

PROPOSALS to build a major new superstore in Colchester will be discussed by planning officials next week.

The Tollgate retail park in Stanway is set to undergo a major facelift, with a new Sainsbury's supermarket at its heart.

The design team has come up with a range of cutting-edge features for the new building that would replace the existing site in Tollgate West.

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The new 1150sq m store would sit on land north of London Road and a report on the plans will be put to Colchester Borough Council's planning committee next Thursday.

Planning officers have recommended the move, which will create around 40 new jobs, be given the go-ahead but that several conditions are met.

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Stanway Parish Council has not objected to the scheme but chairman Colin Sykes said a number of its concerns about traffic and public transport provision needed to be considered.

In the report, planning officer Vincent Pearce said the new store had an “exciting, high quality” design based around a series of “pyramidal pavilion features” with glazed lantern-lights at their apex.

He said: “This allows lighting to be installed in such a way as to allow a changing palette of colours to dance upon the roof.

“At night and particularly on misty autumn evenings this will imbue the building with a new and changing character to that seen in the daytime.”

He said all parties had worked hard to create a building that would have the “uncanny ability” to change how it looks at different times of the day and night.

Although the proposed new site is designated as employment land and not for retail, with the change of use for the existing Sainsbury's site from retail to employment and the number of jobs created by the nearby Stane Park development, the council is expected to be satisfied with the situation.

The report also puts forward a “ground-breaking commitment” by Sainsbury's to work with the council, Job Centre Plus, the Colchester Institute and other agencies to help provide a high level of training and increase the number of jobs on offer.

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