Supermarket plans shop at York Station – after another big retailer pulls out

York Station. Photograph: YorkMix

A Marks and Spencer food shop may not open at York railway station – after a rival supermarket put in plans for the same site.

Sainsbury’s has applied for planning permission to open one of its Local branches in the area of the station which was formerly the ticket office.

In September 2019 Marks and Spencer applied for planning permission to open a branch of M&S Simply Food in the former ticket office. The plans were given the go-ahead in February – but the retailer appears to have pulled out of the scheme.

The ticket office is set to become an M&S food outlet. Photograph: Gavin Aitchison

A planning statement says: “The new retail unit was to be occupied by M&S. The scheme comprised similar works to what is now proposed within this application.

“The scheme was not implemented, and now Sainsbury’s seek to occupy and operate the unit.

“The proposal should be considered in the context of the wider railway station’s concourses, in which development of this nature is common and has previously been considered acceptable by the council.

“The development seeks to improve customer facilities at the station.”

The new shop would include a bakery , Costa coffee machine, frozen and chiller cabinets and a cash machine.

A statement adds: “The proposed works to the unit are small scale in nature and are temporary which can be removed if required in the future. A similar proposal has been previously approved in this location and was considered to not cause significant harm to the significance of the listed building.

“The facilities to be provided will greatly benefit the public.”

Open next year

How the shop front would look. Image: planning documents

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said the new store could open in summer 2021.

There are also plans for the company to open a new Local store in Davygate by February 2021 and together both stores are expected to create 60 jobs.

They added that all construction work is carried out within the Government’s coronavirus guidelines.

Patrick Dunne, Sainsbury’s property director, said: “We’re excited about our plans to open two new Sainsbury’s Locals in York in the New Year.

“Our convenience store in York Station will give customers access to fresh, great value food alongside Sainsbury’s renowned colleague service. This Local will offer everyday essentials and give commuters, visitors and residents the chance to get what they need as they go about their busy daily lives.”

Marks and Spencer have been asked for a comment.

View the planning application here.