New Sainsbury's supermarket to open in Milton Keynes town
A Sainsbury's supermarket once refused by council planners is finally opening its doors in Olney on Wednesday.
The new 17,500 sq ft store, which will include an Argos and an in-store bakery, will be open from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.
It has created 90 new jobs created in the community.
The grand opening follows years of frustration for Sainbury's, who first applied for planning permission to develop the site at the corner of Lavendon Road and Warrington Road in 2014.
Despite more than 80 per cent of residents supporting the idea of a new supermarket, Milton Keynes councillors refused the application - saying it would have a “substantial” impact on other Olney shops, traffic and parking. The countryside site was also contrary to planning policies, they ruled.
Later Sainsbury's bosses announced they were scrapping the plan.
“We have worked hard to bring a new store to the area but given the earlier refusal along with the significant costs and uncertain outcome of our appeal, the plans are no longer viable. We know this decision will be disappointing for many people and would like to thank them for their support," said a spokesman for the company in 2016.
But the following year local development company Angle Property purchased the site. Around the same time, the Olney Neighbourhood Plan was adopted - allocating the site for retail use.
Sainsbury's was selected as the "preferred developer" and in 2018 submitted an amended planning application for a reduced size supermarket with 96 parking spaces. This time councillor granted it with no objections.
The store, features a [email protected] area with tablets, will open at 9am on Wednesday.
To help celebrate the opening, Sainsbury's ran a competition for local school children to specially design a jute bag that will be available for customers to buy.
Store manager Gemma Murrell said: “We are delighted to be opening our brand new store in Olney. Our team of colleagues – many of whom are new to Sainsbury’s – have worked extremely to get the store ready and are very excited to welcome and serve customers. We are looking forward to becoming a part of the Olney community and look forward to building our local relationships in the future.”