New supermarket bid on car showroom site

Bristol Street Motors on Kingsthorpe Road, formally W Grose.
Bristol Street Motors on Kingsthorpe Road, formally W Grose.

A new supermarket could soon be built on the site of a car showroom on one of the main roads into Northampton.

Plans have been submitted to Northampton Borough Council suggesting a new store could be built on the site of the W Grose car dealership in Kingsthorpe Road.

Martin Letts, from Brixworth-based planning firm, Mulberry Developments, said the scheme would see the current car showroom demolished and a new supermarket, similar in size to the nearby Waitrose store, built in its place.

He said: “W Grose is moving to new premises on the Riverside retail park and its Kingsthorpe site will become vacant towards the middle of next year. So it makes sense to find a new use for what would otherwise become a vacant piece of land.”

It is not yet known which supermarket could take the site, although it is believed talks are being held with a number of the big chains.

Firms which Mulberry Developments has worked with in the past include both Tesco and Legal & General. Two of the firm’s latest developments in Northamptonshire include new Tesco stores in both Desborough and Corby.

But Mr Letts said while his firm had close links with the supermarket giant, it was not guaranteed the new supermarket would be a Tesco.

He said: “We have got a good relationship with Tesco, but we’re talking with all the principal food store operators.”

Plans for the new supermarket are still in their very early stages, but it has been confirmed the new store would be about 35,000 square feet and would include both a restaurant and a petrol station.

Mr Letts said: “We think a food store would be an excellent use for the site and, as you can imagine, there’s quite a lot of interest.

“There’s certainly room for another supermarket in that area of Northampton.”

If permission was given to build the new store, it would be half a mile away from the Waitrose and Asda supermarkets in Kingsthorpe and only 300 yards away from a smaller Asda store, which used to be a Netto.

Proposals for the development go on show at the Gateway Centre in Mill Road, Semilong, from 1pm until 5pm on 
Friday this week. They will also be shown at the Kingsthorpe Community Centre in Mill Lane, Kingsthorpe, from 10am until 1pm on Saturday, November 24.

It is not yet known when officials from Northampton Borough Council will decide whether or not the development should go ahead.

Plans to build a new supermarket in Kingsthorpe Road are just the latest in a long line of proposed supermarket developments in Northampton.

In July this year, Tesco pulled out of plans to convert the former Royal Mail sorting office in Barrack Road into a supermarket. Despite the move by Tesco, Northampton Borough Council still gave planning permission for the building to be converted.

Permission was also granted in October to open a Marks & Spencer supermarket in Sixfields.

Waitrose has also been given permission to build a new store in Wootton and Sainsbury’s is currently completing an expansion of its store in Weedon Road.

Other recent developments have also seen the development of a new Tesco in Wellingborough Road and an Aldi in Weston Favell.