Supermarket plan revived for Rugby town centre site

An artist's impression of how the proposed supermarket may look
An artist's impression of how the proposed supermarket may look

Cemex has revived its plan for a supermarket off Evreux Way - despite rival proposals for a department store on the same site having already been approved.

A proposal to extend Rugby’s Clock Towers Shopping Centre was granted permission in January to expand onto the former Gala Bingo site, which is now a car park.

Its managers insist the scheme - including a department store and a cinema - is still going ahead. But Cemex and developer JMKA have resubmitted their proposals for a supermarket and shops.

The application was first lodged in 2011, before being shelved at their request - and now they want Rugby Borough Council to rule on whether it should be approved.

A letter to the council from the developers’ agent states: “The application has been held in abeyance at the request of the applicant, due to the submission of various competing retail development proposals in Rugby. Our client is now in a position to progress the application.”

The plan involves demolishing Cemex House, next to the car park, and building a 6,000 sq m food store, with two levels of parking beneath it, along with additional units providing another 1,000 sq m of retail space. The developers say the new shops could create up to 250 permanent new jobs.

Cemex spokesman Ian Southcott said: “The Cemex office site on Evreux Way has been part of a proposed redevelopment of the wider area for some time and this situation remains unchanged.

“We are aware of a number of potential options for such a redevelopment but there are no firm proposals in existence at this point in time.”

Under the Clock Towers plan, a department store and nine-screen cinema would be built on the site as part of a proposal to extend the shopping centre. It would add a further 132,000 sq ft to the centre’s existing area of 230,000 sq ft and create up to 300 jobs. The proposal also includes plans to refurbish the 40-year-old building’s lifts, lighting and roof.

Tony Spencer, manager of the Clock Towers, said negotiations were continuing with Rugby Borough Council to finalise the plan for the extension, as were discussions with letting agents to sign up new retailers. He added: “We are very close to confirming the first names.

“Our discussions will carry on regardless of the resubmission of this rival application. We are still very confident our plan will go ahead and work could start next year.”