SUPERMARKET bosses say they “still hope to invest” in what will soon become a large empty commercial unit in Colchester.

Sainsbury’s first obtained a building permit to open a store at the current B&Q site in Lightship Way, Hythe, in 2016.

The grocery giant was set to take over the unit’s lease in 2019, but the DIY company then signed a two-year extension.

B&Q has traded on the site since, but is now set to move to its new home in Stane Retail Park this month, which means the building will finally be empty.

Following speculation the site could now be used by a private developer to build student apartments, Sainsbury bosses have now decided to set the record straight.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “Sainsbury’s still hopes to invest in the Lightship Way site. These plans do not include a housing proposal.

Despite the chain’s assurances, it is still unclear exactly when the supermarket might move to the site.

Read more: Sainsbury’s Hopes to Provide Update on New Hythe Store ‘Soon’

But speaking previously, in August bosses said they hoped they could brief residents about the long-awaited new store very soon.

A spokesperson added: “At this time, there is no update on our plans at Lightship Way, but we hope to be able to provide more information soon.”

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