Homebase bosses have confirmed that the Meols Cop branch will close just weeks before Christmas. The store is being closed down to make way for a new Sainsburys superstore which is planned to be built on the same site. In order for that store, which will also feature a petrol station, to be built, Homebase and two adjacent units will first be demolished.
Sainsburys says that the new store, which will measure some 60,000 sq ft, will create 400 jobs. When planning
permission was granted to the controversial proposal, Sefton Council imposed a restriction on Sainsbury’s that it must continue to operate its existing store on Lord Street for at least five years after the new one opens.
The plan first went to Sefton Council in October 2014 but a huge backlash from local residents meant it was referred to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate. Campaigners, including then Southport MP John Pugh, said the plan could damage Southport town centre and put a strain on the local road network.
But the plan was approved by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid late last year.
Homebase was founded by Sainsbury’s in 1979 but was sold on in 2006. Staff members were informed of the closure earlier this month and the company has now confirmed that the store will close on December 9.
A closing down sale is currently being held at the store. A spokesman for Homebase said: “We can confirm that our store on Meols Cop Retail Park, Southport is set to close on 9 December 2017.
“Our priority now is to continue supporting team members and customers will still be able to shop at the nearby Formby store.
Despite the planned closure of Homebase, Sainsburys remain tightlipped on when the new store could be built.
A spokesman said: “We are discussing our next steps with the developer and will update the community as we progress.”