Whittlesey will not get Superstore “in the Immediate Future”

Whittlesey will not get a superstore such as Sainsburys or Tesco because the companies may not want to develop out of town stores.

Sainsburys pulled the plug on building a store in Whittlesey back in January 2016, despite having lots of support from the local people.

The company applied and gained permission from the council to build a supermarket back in 2013, fighting for permission against Tesco.

Unfortunately for Tesco, the council rejected its plan and backed the Sainsbury’s store.

Former mayor of Whittlesey, Councillor David KM Mason, launched the campaign for the town to have the Sainsburys superstore built.

He said: “Although Sainsburys gained the planning permission they needed, the company as a whole took a view that they didn’t want to actually develop out of town superstores anymore.

“The supermarket/superstore complex all fell down.”

He then added: “I don’t think to be honest that that’s ever going to happen in the immediate future because that’s not just Sainsburys.

“All the major four – Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsburys, all have the same view now.

“They don’t want to build out of town superstores.”

whittlesey_town_centre

Currently, the town council are developing the Neighbourhood Plan, a plan that may plot forward the future of Whittlesey.

The plan involves a lot of consultation with the local people and businesses.

With the combined authority coming out, a prototype at St Neots in Cambridgeshire is being put together of what they want to see in a developing market town.

The prototype could eventually become a “master plan” for each of the market towns in Cambridgeshire, including Whittlesey.

David Mason said: “What you need to actually move forward with a business plan are 3 things: The Neighbourhood Plan, the Fenland Local Plan, and you also need a good transport strategy.

“All that is going to be in place before the combined authority will then look at Whittlesey as being another master plan.

“That could be a few years down the line, but that would be the future of Whittlesey, I think, long term.”

“I think the future of Whittlesey will be a combination of commuter town people and local people historically, customer service, small shops.

“We’re not going to see a big supermarket.

“Whether we go down the road of Costa Coffee or Greggs, I don’t know.

“That will be all part of the master plan of what comes out in consultations.”

 

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