CONSTRUCTION has started on Colchester’s fourth Sainsbury’s store.

The new shop will be situated at the heart of the Kingswood Heath development on the corner of Whitmore Drive and Via Urbis Romanae, Mile End.

The supermarket giant already has large stores on Priory Walk in the city centre and Western Approach, Stanway, as well as a convenience store on Layer Road.

Patrick Dunne, who is Sainsbury’s property director, said: “We’re delighted to be building a new Sainsbury’s Local for customers in Colchester, creating new jobs and representing a significant investment in the local area.

“We look forward to launching our new store before the end of the year.”

Proposals for a new shop on the site of the former Severalls Hospital were first submitted to Colchester Council in March 2020, although it was initially due to become a Co-op store.

Colchester Council leader and Mile End councillor, David King, thinks that “it’s a plus for the local community”.

He said: “Kingswood Heath will give the store a warm welcome.

“The Co-op store at Chesterwell has done extremely well, and this is another welcome addition to the area.”

The plans, which were approved by the council last May, also include a new children’s day nursery which will be built next to the store and is planned to open early next year.

Fresh food, fruit and vegetables and a selection of branded and own brand groceries and general merchandise will be on offer at the store, which will have 11 parking spaces for customers to use whilst picking up their groceries.

The chain’s competitors have a significant presence in the city, which is home to seven Tesco stores, one Asda store and a Waitrose. Lidl and Aldi also have three stores each in Colchester.

Sainsbury’s will be also competing with the two Co-op stores in Mile End, on Leda Way and Nayland Road.

Recruitment for the new store will start later this year.