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Arborfield Green Sainsburys Given The Go Ahead

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Plans to build Arborfield Green’s first new supermarket have been given the all-clear.

Arborfield Green Sainsburys Given Go Ahead

The council has approved Sainsbury’s proposal for a 2,349 sq m store off Nine Mile Ride Extension and Sheerlands Road, which will be part of a larger district centre to serve the new community.

The district centre was awarded planning permission in October last year, and early works to prepare the site by levelling the ground are expected to start soon.

The new Sainsbury’s store will be built on a plot near Bohunt School and Arborfield Green Leisure Centre and, depending on how work progresses, could open towards the end of 2025.

Once the district centre is completed, the store will sit beside other shops as well as amenities like a community centre and public open space.

Wider choice with added green travel benefits

Sainsbury’s will run the store as a “neighbourhood hub” offering an additional click-and-collect service, allowing it to offer a wider range of products.

It will be in walking distance for many residents, removing the need to drive and encouraging walking or cycling to the shops as a greener alternative, in line with the council’s climate emergency goals.

The area near the store will give priority to pedestrians to make it safer, which will also benefit Bohunt students and help encourage walking to and from school.

The site is near a bus stop served by the Leopard 3 to Reading and Wokingham town, and there would be covered cycle storage plus electric vehicle bays with chargepoints.

The building will have environmentally friendly features like solar panels, rainwater harvesting, dimmable outdoor LED lights and more.

It will complement the Co-op food store at the former Bramshill Hunt pub, off Bramshill Close, which opened in 2021 and is the only other food store in the area.

Catching back up after covid delays

Cllr Lindsay Ferris, executive member for planning and local plan, said: “We’re pleased to be announcing further progress on shops and other amenities in this area, which we know are long-awaited so we’re thankful for residents’ patience.

“The Sainsbury’s store, in particular, will make it easier for people to pick up a range of purchases without driving or ordering online deliveries, both of which result in more emissions.

“It’s cheaper and healthier to walk, cycle or take the bus, as well as being better for the environment, and we strongly encourage new development to promote this as much as possible.

“Following a period of unfortunate delay, caused partly by the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on retail nationally, we’ll continue working closely with everyone involved to ensure the district centre takes shape as quickly as it can.”

A long-term investment in the community

The district centre is set to include a pedestrianised high street and public square with 18 retail units, plus space for a pre-school, a day nursery, public house and a community building.

It will be accompanied by 206 new homes, roughly half of which will be flats while the rest will be houses, with affordable housing on site and a financial contribution to affordable housing elsewhere in the borough.

Building will take about three years but the first shops should open about 18 months after work starts. Anyone interested in commercial space should contact the developer Crest Nicholson, who are providing the centre as part of a legal agreement.

The former Infirmary Stables, a scheduled monument to the north of the district centre, are set to be brought back into use, and Crest are preparing updated drawings for new sports facilities nearby.

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