Co-op reveals plans to open new store at former Rush Lighting site in Norwich
- Credit: Archant
A supermarket chain has revealed plans to open a new £600,000 store at the former Rush Lighting site in Norwich.
The vacant unit, on Sprowston Road, has been empty ever since the family-run business relocated in February 2015.
But the Co-op has announced it is hoping to move in by the end of this year.
A spokesman for the company said that its new 2,900 sq ft convenience store would create 15 new jobs for the area.
It comes almost exactly a year after Sainsbury's shelved its proposals to open a store on the same site.
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Roger Rush, who owns the site, located near the Gertrude Road junction, said the announcement would come as a relief to residents.
He said: 'So many people were disappointed around here when Sainsbury's changed its mind.
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'I felt sorry for them because a lot of older people had been looking forward to a shop opening. But it has been out of my control.'
Back in May 2016, Sainsbury's said it decided not to go ahead with its plans due to 'commercial reasons'.
The company had been working with Mr Rush on the development for more than 18 months prior to it pulling out.
Should Co-op receive permission to open the store, it will move into the ground floor of the existing unit.
The original supermarket plans, which also included the erection of two flats, were first submitted to Norwich City Council in 2013.
But in June that year they were turned down by a planning committee.
Mr Rush appealed against the decision and, a year later, the proposals were given the go-ahead by a planning inspector.
While the two flats are now occupied, the ground floor space has been vacant for more than two years.
A Co-op spokesman said: 'The proposed store, which represents an investment of over £600,000, is a new store beneath a residential development, and is scheduled to open on Sprowston Road at the end of the year.'
Tony Hind, head of new store development for the Co-op, added: 'We opened 100 new stores last year and will open another 100 again this year and are always on the lookout for new sites where we can be at the heart of local life.'
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