SUPERMARKET bosses say they are still “hoping to invest” in what will soon become a large empty commercial unit in Colchester.

Sainsbury’s was first granted planning permission to open a store inside the current B&Q site, in Lightship Way, Hythe, back in 2016.

The groceries giant was set to take over the lease of the unit in 2019, however, the DIY firm then signed a two-year extension.

B&Q has traded at the site ever since but is now set to move to its new home at Stane Retail Park sometime this month, meaning the building will finally empty.


Following speculation the site could instead now be used by a private developer to build student flats, Sainsbury’s bosses have now moved to set the record straight.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “Sainsbury’s is still hoping to invest in the site at Lightship Way. These plans do not include a proposal for housing.”

Despite the chain’s reassurances, it remains unclear as to exactly when the supermarket could move into the site.

Read More: Sainsbury's hopes to provide update on new Hythe store 'soon'

But speaking previously, back in August, bosses said they hoped to be able to update residents on the long-awaited new store very soon.

A spokesman added: “At this time, there is no update on our plans at Lightship Way but we hope to be able to provide some further information soon."