Morrisons reveal plan to open new supermarket in St Ives


Morrisons - Credit: Archant

Supermarket giant Morrisons is looking at building a new store in St Ives, bringing 250 jobs to the town.

The supermarket would be built away from the town centre on a site between Harrison Way and Needingworth Road, adjacent to the Marsh Harrier pub.

Last Wednesday (September 25) Endurance Estates, which built the Marsh Harrier, and Morrisons briefed St Ives Town Council’s planning committee about the proposals for the 2,882sq m supermarket – double the size of the town’s Waitrose.

Due to the flood risk on the site, it would be built on stilts with a 400-space car park and cycle park underneath. The shop, which would not be open 24 hours a day, would have 80 per cent of its space dedicated to groceries with the rest comprising of space for household items, children’s clothing and CDs and DVDs. There would also be café.

The plans also include a separate petrol station, with the fuel tanks above ground to reduce the risk of leakage.

Councillors were told that a need for a supermarket in St Ives had been identified in Huntingdonshire District Council’s Retail Study 2013, which found that about 40 per cent of shoppers travelled out of town for their groceries.

A Morrisons survey of 500 residents also showed similar results, they were told.

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St Ives Mayor and chairman of the planning committee Councillor Nick Dibben told The Hunts Post: “It’s certainly going to be interesting looking planning application with the building on stilts. Morrisons say that the store will bring St Ives shoppers back to St Ives as people will do their weekly shop and then to go into the town centre to do some more shopping.

“But that has to be balanced against the number of shoppers who will no longer go into the town centre. When the impact is demonstrated then we will choose whether to support it or not.”

Morrisons said it was not in its interest to see the town centre decline.

If the plans were to go ahead, there would be fierce competition in the Needingworth Road area with a Marks & Spencer set to open in the BP garage and another supermarket planned for the former Manchester Arms pub.

Morrisons and Endurance are seeking the public’s view on the proposal. Exhibitions will be held at the Burgess Hall on October 15-16 and in the Corn Exchange on October 17.

A date for the planning application to be submitted has not been scheduled.