Wednesday, 7pm: Sainsbury’s has beaten Tesco to the rights to build a supermarket in Whittlesey at a passionate meeting this afternoon.
Around 250 people crammed into the Manor Leisure Centre to hear Sainsbury’s granted planning permission to build a supermarket in Eastrea Road, with Fenland district councillors preferring the development to a Tesco one on the same road.
It was a shock as planning officers had recommended Tesco’s bid to be accepted, as the Sainsbury’s one was on open countryside, though the retail giant has promised as part of the plan to create a 54-acre country park at the rear of the site.
Following the decision cllr Martin Curtis, Cambridge County Councillor for Whittlesey North, said he was delighted with the decision - however he warned residents there might be more appeals later.
He said: “I am really pleased by the decision. I am sure this is the reight one for Whittlesey.
“Of course the highest planing authority is the court, so this may not be the end of this. I hope Tesco accept the decision though.”
Robert Oxley, develepment executive for Sainsbury’s said: “I am delighetd this decision has been made in support of Sainsbury’s.
“It is a really positive step for the town with more jobs being created and a new country park.
“There was overwhelming public support for Sainsbury’s, and I think the huge turnout of residents keen to make their voice heard makde a difference.”
Ron Moore (68) of Station Road, Whittlesey, said: “I am really glad they have one with Sainsbury’s, who will make a difference for residents and provide something for the town.
“I am sure the park will be special for Whittlesey, and attract other people here.”
During the debate at the meeting, cllr David Connor, part of the planning committee said: “We are being asked to bring in localism and list to the people. The people of Whittlesey want a Sainsbury’s. We must listen to the people of Whittlesey.”
Louise Gosling, who represented Tesco, said they would consider their plans for Station Road in the near future. She said: “This is very disappointing. We have spent nearly five years planning on bringing a supermarket to Whittlesey. We have done a lot of work, and thought we had bought the best proposal to the table.
“We will now take a step back to consider our options.
“The planning permission for Station Road remains in place.”.
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