AN INVESTIGATION into supermarket shopping in Northampton has revealed residents spend a combined total of more than £360 million a year in the town’s top 15 stores, but warned no more should be built.
Following a raft of planning applications for new supermarkets in and around Northampton, the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC), commissioned planning experts Aecom to investigate the town’s supermarket sector and work out if the area could support any more.
Their 50 page report has revealed that Morrisons in Kettering Road is the town’s most popular supermarket, taking just over £69 million a year, but with four entries in the town’s top 15, Tesco takes a massive £126.52 million, or 35 per cent, of the town’s supermarket trade.
Despite the apparently thriving supermarket sector, Aecom’s experts, who worked on plans for the London Eye, said current proposals to open new supermarkets in the former Royal Mail sorting office in Barrack Road and on the Nene Valley Retail Park in Towcester Road should be blocked. Their report to the WNDC said: “We recommend that both the proposed new superstores be refused planning permission. Northampton already has five superstores and a wide range of supermarkets so there is no strong case for another superstore. However, if it is decided to grant planning permission for one, we recommend it be the proposed superstore at Barrack Road, rather than that at the Nene Valley Retail Park.”
The experts also said that if the planed store in Barrack Road was allowed, the expansion of the Sainsbury’s in Sixfields and the Tesco in Mereway should be blocked.
As far as the impact on the town centre is concerned, Aecom’s figures show food shopping brings £20 million into the town every year.
To prevent any trade leaving the centre, the experts said Waitrose should be persuaded to move into the redeveloped Grosvenor Centre, rather than pursuing their plans to open a shop in Newport Pagnell Road, which were first revealed by the Chron in January last year.
Despite being revealed in 2009, Aecom’s report did not consider any plans to build near Franklin’s Gardens nor near the Sixfields stadium.
Decisions on the Barrack Road site, Nene Valley Retail Park and Sixfields Sainsbury’s expansion will be made by the WNDC next month.
1: Morrisons (Kettering Road): £69.04m
2: Tesco (Mereway): £63.38m
3: Tesco (Weston Favell): £56.74m
4: Sainsbury’s (Sixfields): £56m
5: Morrisons (Victoria Promenade): £33.01m
6: Asda (Kingsthorpe): £21.22m
7: Waitrose (Kingsthorpe) £20.61m
8: Sainsbury’s (Grosvenor Centre): £14.76m
9: Aldi (St James): £7.24m
10: Lidl (Weston Favell): £5.05m
11: Iceland (St James): £4.93m
12: Tesco Express (East Hunsbury): £4.17m
13: Co-op (Barry Rd, Abington): £2.63m
14: Tesco Express (Bordeaux Cl, Duston) £2.22m
15: Marks & Spencer (town centre) £1.61m
Predicted sales in 2014
Barrack Road site: £48.10m
Nene Valley Retail Park site: £45.62m
Waitrose site (Newport Pagnell Road): £13.64m
Tesco Metro (Abington Street): £7.43m
*All figures are estimated by Aecom.