CONVENIENCE food, drink and petrol retailer Spar has set its sights on a “pivotal corner” of Grange-over-Sands.

The prime site near the coastal town’s railway station has been home to a charity superstore for four years, and was previously a Toyota car dealership.

During the four years that Age UK South Lakeland has been running its charity collection depot and shop at Lindale Road, it has raised around £300,000 to plough back into its services for older people.

Chief executive officer Hugh Tomlinson said the charity was very grateful for the generosity of Grange’s residents and visitors. He warmly thanked supermarket company Booths, which owns the site, for letting it lease the premises for a “peppercorn” fee since 2015.

He said Booths was selling the land on to Spar, and Age UK had always known the “rolling” lease would not be permanent.

“We were always aware it was never going to be forever and every year we got it was a bonus," said Mr Tomlinson.

“We are sad it’s come to an end but we understand and will be eternally grateful [to Booths]. It’s been brilliant for us.”

Plans lodged with South Lakeland District Council by applicant James Hall & Co for the one-third hectare plot include demolition of the existing building and construction of a new convenience store, petrol filling station and car park.

Fifteen full-time and 15 part-time staff are proposed, and the shop would be open 6am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday.

Planning documents describe the plot, in the Grange-over-Sands Conservation Area, as a “pivotal corner” of the town, which has “long been used” as a garage and filling station. The architecture is described as of “little intrinsic artistic value”.

Documents state the proposed petrol station canopy has been designed “sympathetically” with a pitched, grey/blue slate roof. The shop, meanwhile, would feature “clean modern lines” in limestone and roughcast white render.

Mr Tomlinson said Age UK South Lakeland was now “desperately looking” for a new site, and the store’s five paid staff and 30 or so volunteers would be redeployed.