SAINSBURY’S is set to open a new store in central Oxford, it has emerged.

The grocery giant has quietly lodged an application for a premises licence at 117-119 St Aldate’s, part of plans for the demolition and rebuilding of the former Blacks shop.

The wider scheme also involves flattening 4 and 5 Queen Street and the block behind it, making way for a ground floor retail unit and 133 new student flats in the above four storeys.

Transport bosses have also confirmed Queen Street – a thoroughfare for buses in the city centre – is expected to close later this year as part of separate work on the new Westgate Shopping Centre.

Oxfordshire County Council said there were “no set dates” for the closure, which is likely to be in the summer, but added: “The bus companies are aware of the situation and we will continue to liaise with them.”

Sainsbury’s said yesterday that if its premises licence was granted up to 25 jobs would be created by the new store.

It would be in addition to an existing branch in Magdalen Street, near the south end of St Giles.

A spokeswoman said: “As convenience retailer of the year for the sixth year running, we are committed to playing an active role in the communities in which we operate and each convenience store supports a nominated local charity every year.

“We believe the new convenience store will bring forward a number of benefits for the local area.”

She said the supermarket chain’s nationwide Active Kids programme, which buys sporting equipment for community groups and schools, had invested £3.3m in Oxfordshire since 2005.

“We will keep the community updated about when our new store will open,” the spokeswoman added.

Work on the Queen Street section of the development began last year, with most of the buildings now demolished.

They formerly housed Swarovski and EAT.

An L-shaped five-storey structure will take their place, which will include about 20,000 sq ft of retail space.

The scheme, being undertaken by Reef Estates, was approved by Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee in November 2014.