A SUPERMARKET war could be set to break out in Accrington.
Just weeks after Tesco submitted an application for a store in Eagle Street, Arndale Centre bosses have revealed that Sainsbury’s are interested in building an 80,000 sq ft store costing £15M at the rear of the shopping complex.
Ray James, Arndale Centre asset manager, confirmed they were in talks with Sainsbury’s and said that a plan could be submitted to Hyndburn Council within three months.
He said: "We have the space for a store like Sainsbury’s in the Arndale Centre and feel this is in keeping with the recent town centre masterplan and more appropriate for Accrington town centre as a whole."
Mr James said he was also against plans to expand the Whitebirk retail park which are set to be debated at a public inquiry in April.
Last year Hyndburn Council turned down Peel Holdings’ expansion application but the developer has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.
Mr James said: "Both the Tesco and Whitebirk plans would be a blow to Accrington town centre as they are basically out-of-town developments. The town centre can simply not handle this type of developments and survive."
Sainsbury’s was unavailable for comment.
Members of Hyndburn Chamber of Trade have also come out in support of a supermarket in the Arndale Centre.
The Chamber met on Tuesday night to discuss Tesco’s application and felt it was too big.
Spokesman Michael Whewell said: "Tesco estimates 4,200 cars a day would visit the store which comes to about 175 an hour. There are essentially only minor roads in that area which cannot support this kind of traffic especially during peak shopping times."