Sainsbury’s to open Corby store

An artist's impression of the new district centre and retail units there. NNL-181218-141210005
An artist's impression of the new district centre and retail units there. NNL-181218-141210005

Driving to a shop will be a thing of the past for residents on a Corby estate after Sainsbury’s signed a deal to open a store there.

The supermarket giant’s store will form part of the district centre at Priors Hall.

It will come as a huge relief to people living on the estate - once dubbed Britain’s biggest building site - who have had to walk to Weldon, crossing a dangerous and busy A43 or drive to Asda to shop.

Steven Esler from the Priors Hall Park Neighbourhood Association said he was over the moon with the news.

He said: “Residents have waited so long for this and we’ve bore the brunt of their frustrations.

“The reaction of the community has been brilliant.”

The store will be a Sainsbury’s Local store, about 4,500 sq ft in size and will be on land between Town Gardens and Rockingham Gate.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman confirmed they would be opening the store and said more details would be available in due course.

Also signing up to open at the housing development is Busy Bees, who are set to establish a new day nursery for 120 children.

Steve Eccleston, development director at Busy Bees, said: “We’re thrilled to have signed a contract for a brand-new nursery at Priors Hall Park, meeting the needs of families in the local community.

“The nursery will be fitted out to the highest standard, providing childcare and exciting opportunities for learning that gives children the best start in life as they prepare for school.”

Proposals for the landscaped district centre include six smaller units ranging from 800 sq ft to 1,200 sq ft that will be available for retail and takeaways.

There will also be four smaller commercial spaces, each the size of a double garage, to host businesses run by local residents and a gym which will be built at a later stage of the residential development.

Planning applications for the new district centre and day nursery are expected to be submitted early in the new year and, subject to planning permission, tenants will start to move in late 2019 or early 2020.

Mr Esler praised developers Urban & Civic for bringing the scheme forward after years without facilities.

He said: “BeLa (who were involved in building the site) made an absolute hash of things and Urban & Civic are doing a fantastic job of undoing the mess they left.

“We have now got a real promise of the district centre and it’s fantastic news.”

Nigel Wakefield, development director at Urban & Civic, said: “We are very excited to be bringing forward a district centre to meet the needs of the local community and are delighted that Sainsbury’s and Busy Bees are on board.

“Discussions are also taking place with a number of potential occupiers for the smaller retail units.

“We will be working with local residents to ensure the district centre provides a focal point for the development that meets local aspirations.”