SEFTON Central MP Bill Esterson has made a New Year’s resolution to kickstart the regeneration of Crosby Village.
Top of Mr Esterson’s wish list is to persuade supermarket giants Sainsbury’s to return to talks about their future plans for a store in the village.
Plans for a £50m store were rejected by Sefton’s planning committee in September 2010 after it was decided the development was wrong for the village.
Sainsbury’s went back to the drawing board and after a number of meetings with stakeholders it was understood the company would be submitting revised plans. But in August last year they confirmed they would not be pursuing plans for the proposed 50,000sq ft superstore.
Mr Esterson confirmed he had written to Sainsbury’s to call on them to come back to the table and that he planned to arrange a meeting with community groups to put together a working party.
Mr Esterson said: “We can’t allow this situation to go on any longer. Crosby Village is suffering and the people of Crosby and Blundellsands are suffering as a consequence.
“We need Sainsbury’s to submit revised plans which will regenerate the whole of the town centre, encourage existing and new businesses to thrive and serve the whole community.
“Sainsbury’s said they were keeping the status quo because they couldn’t find a viable plan for Crosby Village. But I think they need to look again.
“That’s what I have told them and that’s why I want to arrange an urgent meeting to get the improvements which Crosby Village urgently needs.
“Sainsbury’s are crucial to the future improvement of Crosby Village and I am determined that they should face up to their responsibilities to the people of Crosby.
“Big companies talk a lot about corporate social responsibility. It’s time for Sainsbury’s to do what they say they will do for Crosby.”
Sainsbury’s were approached to comment on Mr Esterson’s letter but were unable to comment at the time of going to press.
Mr Esterson said he was keen to involve local groups in the discussions and mentioned ABetterCrosby as one set of campaigners he would be contacting.
Formed after an internet campaign against the Sainsbury’s development, ABetterCrosby claimed plans would lead to the closure of 18 existing businesses in Crosby Village and as a result up to 100 jobs would be lost.
Seeking a smaller development of 35,000sq ft, the campaign group rallied support and handed a petition with over 7,500 signatures to Sefton Council.
Mr Esterson said: “I have had many meetings and conversations with community groups and individuals in Crosby who want to see improvements here.
‘‘This has been going on for too long and I want to see people come together to push for the interests of Crosby Village.”
Would you like to see Sainsbury's come back with plans for a new store in Crosby Village?