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New Sainsbury's given go-ahead at former Bella Italia site

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

The former Bella Italia restaurant and Mountain Shack store, which are to become a new Sainsbury's

The former Bella Italia restaurant and Mountain Shack store, which are to become a new Sainsbury's

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OFFICE workers in Cheltenham town centre will have a new place to pick up their lunchtime sandwiches when a supermarket store opens at a former restaurant site.

Sainsbury's has been given permission to open one of its Sainsbury's Local branches at 70 High Street – the unit previously occupied by Bella Italia.

The move is likely to bring 25 new jobs to the area and town centre bosses said it would attract more people to the town centre when it opened in March.

A spokesman for the chain said: "We are pleased that planning permission has now been granted for our new Sainsbury's Local in Cheltenham.

"Works have started this week and the store is scheduled to open in March.

"We look forward to becoming part of the community and we will ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum during construction."

The supermarket has stores in Tewkesbury Road, Oakley and Bath Road.

It will take over the two units formally home to the Italian restaurant and outdoor shop Mountain Shack, which have stood empty for the past year.

Town centre manager Martin Quantock said the mini-supermarket would be ideal for office workers near the town centre.

Supermarket bosses have lodged plans with the borough council to put up new signs outside the store as they work towards opening day.

Meanwhile, there are further changes in the High Street as discount cafe Bon Appetit 99 has opened a second branch at numbers 110 to 112, at the top end of town.

Offering customers anything from sausage and mash, to pizza, soups and jacket potatoes – all for the sum of 99p each – the opening of the new branch comes hot on the heels of the launch of its first cafe earlier this year.

Owner Tam Emirali said it proved the concept of affordable food on-the-go was popular with shoppers in the town centre.

"It has gone down really well," he said.

"Following the success of our first cafe we have opened a second one in the High Street, and another branch in Gloucester too."

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  • Steve_Thomas  |  December 05 2012, 5:43PM

    I don't envy the people who will have to work there - especially at night or when Cheltenham Town are playing at home.

    Rate   1
  • TIMONLINE2010  |  December 04 2012, 5:31PM

    Bang goes common sense once again - and here comes further congestion!

    Rate   3
  • wildman  |  December 04 2012, 2:28PM

    at least its not another tesco, shame its not an independant retailer though, soon our towns will be full of just supermarkets and big chain coffee shops.

    Rate   4
  • Ms_Superstar  |  December 04 2012, 12:38PM

    The article doesn't mention that they've also been given a licence to sell cheap takeaway booze between 7am and 11pm. Given the atmosphere there on match days, and the fact that even the policemen wear video recorders, this is worrying. Another no-go area for Cheltenham?

    Rate   -5
  • Glos_Lad34  |  December 04 2012, 12:28PM

    I used to go to Bella Italia, Sad it's turning into a Sainsburys but good luck to them.

    Rate   4
  • georgette2010  |  December 04 2012, 12:16PM

    I do hope the appearance of a Sainsbury store is not going to effect the trade of some of the other businesses in the Strand area. We have independent traders such as the deli, pasty shop etc who have been welcomed into the area and have helped give it a life, when it would otherwise just be full of empty shops and charity shops and pawn brokers. It would be a real shame to see this as a death knell for them.

    Rate   13