Sainsbury's Local plans emerge for part of closed former supermarket in Fulwell area of Sunderland

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Plans for a ‘Sainsbury’s Local’ store in the Fulwell area have officially been lodged – less than 12 months after the supermarket closed its store in the community.

The closure sent shockwaves through the community, sparking campaigns to reopen the former supermarket site.

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One petition called for the site to be kept as a retail outlet, while another wanted it kept exclusively for supermarket use.

The former Sainsbury's store, in Station Road, has stood empty since October 2021.The former Sainsbury's store, in Station Road, has stood empty since October 2021.
The former Sainsbury's store, in Station Road, has stood empty since October 2021.

Site owners previously dismissed rumours the building would be “redeveloped as a pub or knocked down for housing” and stressed they were in talks with potential tenants.

Earlier this week, a planning application to erect signs on the building confirmed Sainsbury’s is looking to use one of the units.

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The application is seeking permission to display two fascia signs, a doubled-sided projecting sign, an ATM sign and a totem sign.

Sainsbury's in Station Road before its closure.Sainsbury's in Station Road before its closure.
Sainsbury's in Station Road before its closure.

A covering letter submitted with the plans confirms part of the building is “soon to open as a new Sainsbury’s Local on Station Road”.

The news has been welcomed by local Fulwell ward councillors, including Conservative representative Cllr Michael Hartnack.

Cllr Hartnack said: “I’m delighted for the residents of the area, the shops in the area and also for Sainsbury’s themselves who have been named to open this new state of the art store for the community.

“I’m sure that the public will be equally delighted with this announcement.

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“The staff who previously worked there were excellent and it would be great to see them offered jobs back if that’s a possibility”.

Councillor Malcolm Bond, Liberal Democrat representative, added :”I welcome the application and know residents of Fulwell will be overjoyed to still have a food retailer.

“Residents had expressed concern, especially elderly residents who didn’t have access to a car, that shopping on a regular basis was going to be challenging.”

A decision on the new ‘Sainsbury’s Local’ signs will be made once a council consultation process has concluded.

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According to information on the council’s website, a decision is expected later this year.

Uncertainty still remains over the potential occupier for the second unit at the former Fulwell supermarket building.

But building owners have confirmed both units would be occupied by “food outlets”.