RYE residents could be facing a further six year wait for their new supermarket following a stalemate between Sainsbury’s and Network Rail.
When planning permission was granted for the store on the former Lower School site earlier in the year, a number of planning conditions were imposed on the supermarket giant.
One of the key conditions required the widening of the pedestrian footway on the Ferry Road level crossing.
Network Rail says the work is scheduled to take place as part of a full crossing upgrade in 2019 and if Sainsbury’s wanted to bring the work forward, it would have to pay the full cost of £2million.
But a spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said the cost would make the scheme ‘financially unviable’.
He said: “Since February 2013, when formal planning consent was granted, Sainsbury’s has been working to resolve the outstanding issues so that the site can come forward for development.
“One of the key issues currently being addressed is in relation to a condition attached to Sainsbury’s planning permission. The condition requires widening of the pedestrian footway on the Ferry Road level crossing.
“Network Rail could not engage with Sainsbury’s to discuss this condition until the grant of planning permission in February this year.
“Following a meeting in April, Network Rail advised that the widening of the footway needs to be undertaken as part of a full upgrade of the crossing, which is currently scheduled to be undertaken from April 2019.
“If Sainsbury’s wished to carry out this upgrade before 2019, it would have to pay for the full upgrade, which, at a cost of circa £2million, would make the scheme financially unviable.”
Sainsbury’s has been in discussion with planning bosses at Rother District Council and now plans to submit a new planning application to seek a variation to the planning condition.
Meanwhile the store says it is continuing discussions with Tesco regarding The Queen Adelaide pub.
Tesco owns the building and the site is required to provide access to the new store.
A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “Sainsbury’s remains committed to proposals for a new supermarket on the site in Rye.”