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Whittlesey retail park scheme could bring 300 jobs

Whittlesey vision plans for  Gildenburg and Lattersey

Whittlesey vision plans for Gildenburg and Lattersey

ABOUT 300 jobs could be created in Whittlesey as part of a new retail and leisure venture in the town.

The ambitious scheme has been devised by Whitacre Management and would include a new supermarket and other commercial and leisure opportunities on a 120 acre site.

A pub/restaurant chain has also shown interest in opening a branch in the planned development in Eastrea Road.

The venture could also involve the creation of a 54 acre country park located near Gildenburgh Water in the east of Whittlesey.

The plans for the supermarket and park have been unveiled less than four months after a separate planning application for 460 homes and a new Tesco supermarket, to be located on the other side of Eastrea Road, were submitted to Fenland District Council by Harrier Developments.

Bruce Smith, agent for Whitacre Management, said the scheme would breathe life back into the town.

He said: “I was born and raised in Whittlesey. I have an emotional attachment to the town.

“I think this will provide Whittlesey with a real boost.

“The country park would be given to the district council, and being so close to Gildenburgh Water, is likely to attract thousands of people.

“The plan is to not only create the new park for the town, but also provide leisure retail opportunities - for example with retail space near Gildenburgh Water there maybe water sports shops.

“The new supermarket, alongside the other retail and leisure spaces, will also help create hundreds of jobs for the town. We also think that the development will give the opportunity to expand in the future.”

Councillor Derek Stebbing, Whittlesey town councillor and Fenland district councillor, said: “Whittlesey definitely needs a new supermarket, and Eastrea Road is a good location.

“I don’t think there is room for two new supermarkets though.

“Both schemes bring something different - the Tesco plan brings houses, which will be attractive to new prospective residents, while a country park will be attractive to existing residents.

“We definitely need new park land but I don’t know which scheme will get the go ahead.”

The Harrier Developments plans, which would see a new large development near Bassenhally Farm in Whittlesey, were submitted to Fenland District Council in April.

The proposals, which will go before the council’s planning committee next month, include around 460 homes, a 70 bed nursing home, a community centre and public open space on land between Eastrea Road and Drybread Road.

The Tesco store and filling station is expected to create up to 200 jobs for town residents if it is given planning permission.

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