'Exmouth a good location' - Sainsbury's

A FORMER contender in the race to build a new superstore in Exmouth has said the town is still 'a good location' and has not ruled out a future development.

A FORMER contender in the race to build a new superstore in Exmouth has said the town is still 'a good location' and has not ruled out a future development.Following Asda's withdrawal of plans for an estuaryside store, supermarket giant Sainsbury's did not slam the door on prospects of a store.A spokesperson said: "We always consider opportunities for new stores where Sainsbury's could make a positive contribution to the community. Exmouth remains a town which we think would be a good location for a food store." Councillor Darryl Nicholas, East Devon District Council's Exmouth Champion, said: "We are delighted if the Journal's research shows there is an underlying interest among supermarket operators to open a store here. "This reinforces a message the council has been aware of for some considerable time."The council has long recognised that Exmouth would benefit from additional supermarket provision to give people extra choice, to reduce the leakage of shoppers to Exeter and to attract private investment that could help provide much-needed community facilities."He added that, in February 2006, EDDC said they had listened to the views of residents and did not intend to continue promoting any supermarket site in the town. He added: "We have not promoted any site. But we have to remain open-minded if, as we have forecast, several would-be developers approach us with their ideas. One such was ASDA and we entered into an arrangement with that company which is now at an end."He said that "it was only a matter of time" before one of the larger chains looked for a site in Exmouth to compete with Tesco.But he reiterated: "Exmouth could gain benefits from doing the right deal with the right business concern. While the dust is still settling on the loss of ASDA, the council is taking time to consider its options. But we are still optimistic that a suitable outcome can be achieved."Originally, four contenders were wanted to develop a store: Asda - which has withdrawn - and Bristol-based Hallam Land Management, which owns much of the land, but has not responded to requests for a comment, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.James Armstrong for Waitrose said: "While we are keen to increase the number of shops we currently have in Devon, we have no plans for a store in Exmouth at this time.

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