YORK will have a new multimillion pound supermarket after plans for a store at Foss Bank were approved.

Sainsbury was granted permission to develop its existing city centre site at a planning meeting last night.

Neighbouring DIY store Homebase will be knocked down as part of the plans to make way for the new two-storey building.

Councilors spent less than half-an-hour discussing the application at the meeting before voting for approval.

Officers had said there were relatively few objections to the proposal and it was acceptable in terms of shopping, transport and design. They said it would not significantly increase local traffic partly due to the loss of Homebase.

Sainsbury had initially been asked to make a contribution of £50,000 for traffic improvements, such as upgrading the Monkgate roundabout, but officers said the figure had now risen to £107,000.

The development will include improved access to the site, substantial car parking and easier pedestrian links to the city.

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing asked if officers could ensure that the skate park near to the site could be preserved.

The new plans were submitted in 2003 and are one of a number of development proposals for the Foss Bank area.

Proposals to transform a run-down council depot in Foss Islands Road into a retail park, including a Morrison supermarket, recently secured outline planning consent.

A series of major housing schemes along the Foss Islands Road corridor, from the Barbican site to Huntington Road are also in the planning system.

The new Sainsbury store will have floor space of more than 8,000 square metres and parking for 445 cars.

Plans to knock down both the Sainsbury and Homebase buildings and replace them with a £12m new Sainsbury's store, together with 15 homes, were originally submitted to planning officers in 2001, after Schroeder Capital Venture Group bought Homebase.

Updated: 10:35 Friday, April 23, 2004