Sainsbury's 'call-in' puts 600 jobs at risk
7:00am Wednesday 15th August 2012 in News
SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has claimed the decision to reassess its proposed stores at Llandeilo and Cross Hands could jeopardise 600 jobs and cost the region tens of millions of pounds.
The comments came after the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) “called-in” both applications – one of which would see a superstore built near the Beechwood industrial estate in Llandeilo, while the other proposed an outlet, along with a variety of infrastructure improvements, at Cross Hands.
WAGcan “call-in” plans already approved by local authorities when it feels the application breaches standard planning guidelines or falls outside the local authority’s remit.
WAG’s decision was welcomed by opponents of the schemes, but appears to have frustrated the supermarket chain and Carmarthenshire county council.
“This is a disappointing setback,” said Andrew Sanderson, Sainsbury’s development executive for Wales.
“The applications were approved by the planning committee and this call-in decision now jeopardises up to 600 job opportunities and investment in the area.
“Since our public exhibition in Llandeilo early last year, we have been overwhelmed with support from local people.
“We also received support from many local traders who agreed that a new store would help bring new shoppers to Rhosmaen Street.
“The scheme at Cross Hands is intended to remediate a contaminated and derelict site, providing land for much-needed local housing, a new health centre and doctors’ surgery in addition to facilitating improvements to Maes-yr-Yrfa School.
“All of these could be lost as a result of the ‘callin’ decision.”
Meanwhile, a county council spokesman said the decision was now out of the authority’s hands.
“We now wait to hear the process by which the Welsh Ministers will consider the schemes,” said the spokesman.
“There is no statutory timetable. However, experience would suggest that it could be over a year before a final decision is taken on these projects.