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Sainsbury's pulls out of Lordshill masterplan
SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has pulled out of negotiations with Southampton council to move to a new site and kick start a major district centre redevelopment.
Council chiefs have now been forced to re-appraise a draft masterplan for Lordshill after Sainsbury’s said it was not able to commit to the project.
But it paves the way for other plans to now be drawn up for the former Oaklands School site and Oaklands Swimming Pool, which shut in May after repairs were aborted.
Campaigners have been fighting for the popular pool to be re-opened. But Labour council leaders have withdrawn future funding for the loss making pool.
A new, enlarged Sainsbury’s superstore on the Oaklands school site had been at the heart of the existing masterplan which would have seen the existing Lordshill District Centre redeveloped.
Councillor Simon Letts, cabinet member for resources, said: “Sainsbury’s had shown a genuine commitment to the project over a long period, and it is regrettable that the company has withdrawn.
"However, the decision has removed the uncertainty over the masterplan and the Oaklands school site can now be considered for more immediate alternative uses.”
He added: “This new set of developments means new options for the pool now come into play. The administration’s only policy position on the pool has been the withdrawal of the subsidy.
"If opportunities to run the pool come forward, without subsidy from the council, they will be looked at seriously.”
The council said there were “significant” redevelopment opportunities including the Oaklands school site, the former Lordshill district housing office and the potential for new housing along sections of Lordshill Way.
The council will also be looking at the potential for a district heating scheme to plug into any new development.
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