Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Store to close for six weeks for refit

A SUPERMARKET in Sonning Common is to close for up to six weeks early in the new year.

The Co-op in Wood Lane is to be extended and then closed completely while it is refitted.

The Henley Standard understands the closure will be from Februrary 20 to March 30.

During this period the car park behind the village hall will be relined and defective soakaways repaired.

The supermarket is also considering creating a “pop-up” shop in the village.

Planning permission was granted in August for the
83 sq m extension which will make the store’s total floor space 405 sq m.

There will also be a new access in Woodlands Road, adjacent to a loading bay, which will be used only for deliveries on foot. 

Parish council chairman Douglas Kedge said: “They have informed us what is going to happen and we are wondering how it is going to affect the village.

“Given the average age of villagers is over 60 and some people do not have cars, it is going to be difficult.

“But the work is necessary, not least for the drainage as a pond can develop at the back of the car park.”

Parish clerk Philip Collings said: “It’s fairly obvious that the work is going to cause havoc in the village centre but if they were interested, and gave us enough notice, they could use the hall to sell non-perishable goods.

“The closure is going to be a big problem. There is a good bus service to Emmer Green every 30 minutes but a large number of people do all their shopping in the Co-op.”

A Co-op spokesman said: “I can confirm that we have plans to extend and re-fit the store early next year, which will result in a focus on fresh, healthy foods and essentials and an improved in-store bakery range. 

“It will become one of the first stores in the Reading area to feature the Co-op’s new blue clover-leaf branding.

“The store will be closed for a few weeks and we are currently exploring options to see how we can continue to serve the community during this time.”

It is understood that if the pop-up shop idea goes ahead it would be outside the front of the shop or in the car park.

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