Future unclear for Sanofi Sainsbury’s

PUBLISHED: 15:36 09 June 2015 | UPDATED: 15:49 09 June 2015

Sainsbury's could be set to pull out of the Sanofi redevelopment

Sainsbury's could be set to pull out of the Sanofi redevelopment

2006 Getty Images

The likelihood of Sainsbury’s becoming part of the Sanofi site has been plunged into doubt with the supermarket’s bosses admitting they are now “reviewing” the decision.

Aerial photo of the Sanofi siteAerial photo of the Sanofi site

Sainsbury’s had been set to be part of the development in Rainham Road South, but could be about to change their minds

Planning permission for the proposed 61,600 sq ft store was granted in December 2013, with the grocery giants buying the 10 acres of land outright in March this year.

Expected to create around 450 full and part-time jobs, it had been set to feature a Sainsbury’s Tu clothing range, homeware and electrical goods as well as a wide selection of groceries including a deli and pizza counter.

But a spokesman for Sainsbury’s admitted this week: “We are continuing to review the future of the site and will update the local community, as soon as we can.”

Mark Bass, president of the Barking and Dagenham Chamber of Commerce and former Sanofi site regeneration leader, insists the important issue is not who owns the site, but the employment opportunities for the borough.

“Having sold the land to Sainsbury’s we’d like to see them develop it, but the important thing for us was always about job creation,” he said.

“So long as the site is being used to create jobs, whoever finally ends up owning the site is fine, within reason. At the time it was a good opportunity for the local area.”

Already home to 17 acres of highly-specialised research, development and manufacturing buildings through londoneast-uk, the site could soon boast a hotel, medical centre and warehousing units. Dagenham’s newest pub, the Pipe Major will open at the site on Monday.

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