MORRISONS have pulled out of a supermarket scheme in Christchurch, just weeks after planning permission was eventually granted.

Just three days after Morrisons said they were continuing to review their options, Beagle Technology have confirmed plans for a food store on their Stony Lane site have been shelved.

In April, a planning inspector granted permission for the detailed plans, overturning Christchurch council’s refusal, and awarding costs to Beagle, saying the council had acted ‘unreasonably’.

Members of the authority’s planning committee have rejected the plans three times since 2012.

Beagle had hoped the sale of the site to Morrisons would enable them to move to a new premises at Bournemouth Airport, in a bid to modernise their facilities and attract new contracts.

Now, with the withdrawal of the food store, another long-term solution is needed.

John Taylor, managing director of Beagle Technology Group, confirmed the supermarket plans had been shelved “for the foreseeable future.”

He said: “Given all the well publicised difficulties from the major food retailers in recent months, we are not wholly surprised.

“Naturally we are disappointed, not only because this means that our planned relocation is on hold, but also because the whole planning process has been very time-consuming and has cost Beagle and our development partners well over £750,000 to date.

“We have missed out on an attractive proposition and we now need to look at alternatives.

“The business still needs a long-term solution as the current building is holding back the growth of the business and limits our productivity.

“The problem is that we need a high value for the site because it is going to be very expensive to move this business.

“We will continue to try and seek the support of the council in what we do, as it is essential that we preserve existing jobs, whilst recognising that longer term, these premises will not satisfy our growth potential.”

The food store would have created around 300 supermarket jobs.