SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has announced it will not be developing a new store in Ramsbottom.

The announcement comes 13 months after the company revealed they were in talks with Bury Council over the possibility of opening a supermarket at the former Mondi Paper Mill site in Bridge Street.

But this week, Sainsbury’s confirmed to the Bury Times that following deliberations, they will not be setting up on that site, nor any other in the town.

The news has been welcome by Cllr Ian Bevan who, last year, said he did not welcome the proposal by Sainsbury’s to have a presence in Ramsbottom which is already home to Morrisons, Tesco and Aldi stores.

He said: “The Mondi Paper Mill site has been empty for the last four years and has been demolished. The remaining buildings on the site are protected and it is zoned for industrial use only.

“A number of traders and residents joined me in preparing petitions and leafleting the town and I have to thank them for the hard work they put in.”

He added: “Ramsbottom already has excellent food and drink shops, butchers, bakers and delicatessens. We have a wealth of small independent shops. There is also a traditional weekly market, a monthly farmers’ market.

“Most of these businesses would have been ruined by the arrival of a fourth supermarket, with irreversible damage to the character of our special market town.

“The traffic in Bridge Street is already extremely heavy. The Mondi Paper Mill site is at a busy junction. Access would have been a major problem.”

Cllr Bevan stressed that while everyone wants the site to be redeveloped and for jobs to be created any development has to be “sympathetic to the aspirations of the town to be a premier tourist destination”.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “I can confirm that Sainsbury’s is not progressing that site or indeed any other site in Ramsbottom. Following a complex evaluation process, we have decided not to proceed.”