Jonathan James unveils £2million out of town M&S and BP garage on the outskirts of Soham- two years after he sold supermarket to Asda

New BP garage complex for Soham

New BP garage complex for Soham - Credit: Archant

Two years after selling his town centre supermarket to Asda, entrepreneur Jonathan James announced plans today for a £2million M&S store and petrol station on the Soham by-pass.

New BP garage complex for Soham

New BP garage complex for Soham - Credit: Archant

Mr James, through his James Construction and Developments Ltd company, has submitted a planning application to East Cambs District Council to build the petrol station on land next to the A142 roundabout on The Shade at Soham.

He said: “The proposed 1.5 acre development will comprise of a retail store with 190 square metres of sales space, five pump islands, two jet washes and an automated car wash.”

He said the site will be operated by BP and will include M&S Simply Food & a Wild Bean Café “plus all the products you’d expect to find in a well stocked convenience store”.

Mr James believes a petrol station and shop “is much needed in the north of Soham and brings to life the aspirations of the Soham Vision”.

Ely40 Jonathan

Ely40 Jonathan - Credit: Archant

He said the Soham Vision was approved by East Cambridgeshire Council in 2010 following consultation with residents and stakeholders of Soham

The new outlet, if approved, will create 25 jobs locally.

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He said: “With the continued expansion of Soham and the ever increasing use of the A142 this development with provide modern facilities for residents and motorists alike”

Fenland businessman Richard Sears had previously won permission for an out of town supermarket and public house in the north of Soham –on a different site and on land partly owned by builder Colin Murfitt. That scheme, however, failed to find a buyer for the proposed supermarket.

Mr James sold his 7,000 square feet Budgens store to Asda as part of a consolidation of his business interests; he has permission for an eco style business park at Littleport next to the M&S garage complex now leased to BP.

He explained that his construction company is owned jointly with his wife Rebecca.

They also own James Graven and Sons Ltd which developed and owns the properties of the BP/M&S sites at Witchford Road Ely as well as the Wisbech Road, Littleport store.

He said the new Soham store would join 231 filling stations operated by BP in conjunction with the M&S Simply Food outlet; BP plans to open a further 26 similar locations in 2016.