Sainsbury’s runs into row over hours

SAINSBURY’S is the latest of the supermarket giants to be moving on to Ecclesall Road – and its ambitions for the Banner Cross end have prompted widespread protests from residents.

Opposition has been lodged to its application to open the premises – next to a Texaco petrol station – 24 hours a day and to sell alcohol between 6am and midnight.

Planning permission was granted for the site to have shops below ten apartments.

Now it has been revealed that one of two commercial units is to be taken by Sainsbury’s and its proposed licence is due to be consider today (Thursday) by councillors.

Objectors are worried about late-night disturbance if drink is sold up to midnight, the impact of a 24-hour supermarket on existing traders and the traffic implications.

Some residents supported a successful community campaign to halt plans to build a supermarket at the former Gilders’ car showrooms site in Banner Cross.

Attention is turning to a location just down the road.

“Sainsbury’s appear to have slipped in via the back door without any consultation with the local community,” say two residents of Psalter Lane in a submission to the council.

“We strongly object to this on the grounds it could increase crime and disorder in what is essentially a residential district and prove a hazard to public safety as it would lead to a higher volume of cars.”

A resident of Brincliffe Hill says: “This area of Sheffield is unique as it still has many family-run local shops and that is what makes it a vibrant community to live in.

“We already have plenty of supermarkets and another one would just help Sheffield lose its identity.”

Another protester, who lives in Greystones Road, says: “There is an abundance of bars, restaurants, takeaway outlets already in this area and I would rather that Banner Cross remain the close-knit, pleasant, quiet(ish) shopping area that we already enjoy.

“It is not necessary to impose 24-hour shopping in this area and even more unnecessary to encourage the sale of alcohol between 6am and midnight.”

The council licensing board will not determine whether there should be a supermarket on the site, but its operating conditions.

The company says it is taking steps to minimise any risk of problems. CCTV will be installed, covering the entrance and alcohol display area, and customers appearing to be under 21 will be asked for proof of age.