Sainsbury’s react to town council’s move to block expansion plans

A SUPERMARKET giant believes Saffron Walden town councillors were wrong to block its plans to move into the town.

A SUPERMARKET giant has expressed its disappointment with Saffron Walden Town Council for voting against its plans to move into the town.

The Reporter revealed last week that town councillors had supported a motion to block Sainsbury’s bid to build a new superstore on the former Granite site in Thaxted Road. The council also opposed Tesco’s plans to extend its Radwinter Road store.

However, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the town council has decided to withdraw its support for our scheme, which we feel will be a real benefit for the town by retaining trade in Saffron Walden, providing more choice for customers and creating new jobs.”

Councillors expressed the view that a new supermarket would cause “irreversible damage” to the town centre, while also greatly increasing through traffic and causing unacceptable air pollution.

Yet Sainsbury’s believes it has provided enough evidence for its plans to warrant approval.

“We have worked closely with the Essex County Council and Uttlesford District Council on a detailed transport strategy to improve a number of junctions in the town – as well as extending the 34 bus route and increasing its frequency to three times an hour,” added the Sainsbury’s spokesman.

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A date is yet to be fixed for Uttlesford District Council’s development control committee to discuss both Sainsbury’s and Tesco applications, although it anticipated that it could be by the end of October.