Sainsbury joins Tesco and Asda in Barking store wars

'Superstore': A Sainsbury supermarket could open at Abbey Retail Park in Barking

'Superstore': A Sainsbury supermarket could open at Abbey Retail Park in Barking - Credit: Archant

High-street chain Sainsbury is planning to create 450 jobs by opening a retail park “superstore” in a street featuring two of the country’s biggest food retailers.

The Abbey Retail Park supermarket in Barking could open right next to the 30,000 sq ft Tesco and the new 40,000 sq ft Asda store set to be unveiled in London Road in 2015.

If approved, the multi-million pound Sainsbury store would create unprecedented competition and give consumers unrivalled choice just five minutes from Barking Station.

Barking would also become a “supermarket town” with the highest concentration of large food stores in the east London borough.

In a joint statement, Sainsbury and the owners of the retail park, Estates & Agency, said: “The redevelopment will make a significant contribution to the ongoing regeneration in Barking and will create around 450 new full and part-time jobs.”

The supermarket development emerged after a High Court judge overturned rival plans by retail giant Tesco to expand its nearby superstore from 30,000 sq ft to 44,000 sq ft last month.

Judge Alan Wilkie announced the 200-staff Tesco store, at the corner of Highbridge Road and London Road, could no longer expand after Abbey Retail Park lodged an appeal in the High Court.

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But a Tesco spokesman said: “Our existing store remains extremely popular with customers and our team will continue to do their best to serve customers every day.

“We are disappointed to have lost the recent judicial review and are currently reviewing our options.”

Meanwhile, Asda is forging ahead with plans to move out of Vicarage Field shopping centre in Ripple Road to a £50million hub 200 yards away in London Road.

The 200 Asda employees will transfer to the new complex, set to comprise a 40,000 sq ft supermarket with 350 staff, five shops and 100 flats by 2015.

Sainsbury’s intends to consult the public before submitting plans to Barking and Dagenham Council.

A council spokesman said: “Clearly the retail park is in need of regeneration and we would need to make sure that whatever is proposed for this site improves the attractiveness of the town centre and complements the regeneration already underway in Barking Town Centre.”

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