Shock as Sainsbury’s shelves its proposal to open store Sprowston Road in Norwich

The building at the former Rush Lighting site which was planned to become a Sainsbury's. Picture: DE

The building at the former Rush Lighting site which was planned to become a Sainsbury's. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Sainsbury's has announced it is no longer going ahead with plans to open a new convenience store after an 18-month wait.

The supermarket had been due to take on the former Rush Lighting site on Sprowston Road, in Norwich, this year.

But the company has now taken the decision not to go ahead with the plans due to what it described as 'commercial reasons'.

It comes just weeks after site owner Roger Rush assured people living in the area that the development was still going ahead.

And while he did not wish to comment, Guy Gowing, from Arnolds Keys estate agents, said he was shocked by the decision.

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The company had been working with Mr Rush on the development for more than 18 months through to its completion on Monday.

Mr Gowing said: 'We were quite taken aback because a lot of work has been done to make it a good store for Sainsbury's.

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'But they are now going to put it on the market and honour the agreement, which is a relief.'

The plans, which also include 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, despite being recommended for approval by officers.

Mr Rush appealed against the decision, and a year later the proposals were given the go-ahead by a planning inspector.

Sainsbury's said it decided not to proceed with the development due to commercial reasons. A spokesman added: 'Unfortunately we have taken the decision not to go ahead with our plans to open a Sainsbury's Local at Sprowston Road.

'Clearly this was not an easy decision to make but we will now be marketing the unit for prospective tenants.'

People living near to the store last month questioned the future of the development.

The news came after work appeared to have halted for more than a month.

When asked about site in April, Sainsbury's said it did not have an opening date set, and would keep people updated.

Are you concerned that a planning application near you is no longer going ahead? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684 or email

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