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Sainsbury's considers £77m developing in Cumbria

Sainsbury’s has said that it is interested in finishing a stalled £77 million development in Cumbria.

The New Squares scheme in Penrith, which ground to a halt in 2008 as funding from Australian backers dried-up, is currently subject to a step-in process.

Under this, Sainsbury’s has the right to complete the whole project - which includes plans for a supermarket, flats, cafes, bars and a car park.

The step-in comes after councillors decided to reject the supermarket’s original bid to finish work in exchange for the right to build a bigger new store on the site.

It is now thought that the supermarket will complete the development - should the step-in period be extended beyond its March 10 expiry date. However, another party has registered interest in the project should Sainsbury’s drop out of the plans.

Council leader Keith Phillips said “Members will now look in detail at the proposals and then agree a way forward.”

A special council meeting will be held to consider both Sainsbury’s request for extra time to address financial and legal issues, and the other proposals.