M&S, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose for Jesmond?
Plans to open a big-name grocery store in place of the derelict garage on Osborne Road remain shrouded in mystery, as Marks & Spencer denies any involvement.
Rumours that the retail giant was planning a Simply Food store on the site have circulated since Newcastle City Council granted planning permission for a three-storey retail unit last August. But a spokesperson told JesmondLocal: “M&S currently has no plans to open a Simply Food store on Osborne Road.”
Permission for the 7,661 sq ft site – which has lain derelict for years since the closure of Osborne Garage, a former car showroom and petrol filling station – was granted despite objections from local residents wary of excessive noise and congestion. These were tempered by constraints on opening hours, set from 8 am to 10pm; and deliveries, with access on Larkspur Terrace limited to vehicles less than 10 metres in length.
With permission secured for a Class A1 building – planning jargon for a shop – the path has been laid for other retailers to step in. Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are amongst those rumoured to be interested.
The owners of the site, Shepherd Offshore – part of the dynasty of former Newcastle United owner Freddy Shepherd – were unavailable for comment at the time of publishing this report.
As we continue our investigation at JesmondLocal, please let us know in the comments below if you have any information, or indeed idle gossip…