Sainsbury’s has abandoned plans for a distribution centre near Exeter, claiming that improved efficiency in its logistics network means it is no longer required.

Permission for a 528,000 ft²  DC in Clyst Honiton was granted by East Devon District Council in 2011, but the plans were shelved in July last year as the supermarket claimed it had no immediate need for a depot in the area.

Sainsbury’s has now completely dropped the plans, despite significant investment in preparatory work.

Head of property investment Vince Prior said: “We are continuously reviewing our logistics network to ensure that we provide the most efficient platform to service our stores and our customers.

“As a result of efficiency improvements elsewhere in our network, we have concluded that there is no longer a requirement for a logistics depot at this location.”

The DC was intended to serve its 80 stores in the South West. Sainsbury’s intends to start marketing the site immediately.

The firm last week unveiled its cycle-friendly lorry design at the launch of TfL’s Safer Lorries Scheme consultation.