Council admits Budgens will be major loser if Tesco moves into Chatteris

BUDGENS will be the biggest loser if Tesco gets the go ahead – as expected- next Wednesday to build a superstore in Chatteris.

Plans stalled in 2011 once Tesco expressed interest in the Fenland Way site and insisted on an enlarged store if they were to invest in the town.

That application for the bigger store is now to be decided with Fenland Council planning chiefs supporting them.

“The previous grant of planning permission is considered a strong material consideration,” says a report to next Wednesday’s planning committee.

“Although accepting there will be some impact on Budgens and other retailers this should be balanced against the positive benefits.”

These, say officials, include the “qualitative need” for a superstore, the extra jobs, and “the claw back of expenditure which currently leaks out of the Chatteris area”.

Planners say a retail study has shown the new Tesco store – with a sales area of some 2,129 square metres- will also attract trade from March and Ramsey.

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Tesco, and Travis Perkins builders merchants who will move to the same site, will have to pay heavily in community benefits to gain approval,

These will include a new four arm roundabout, feeder roads to the site, a pedestrian underpass from Larham Way, �50,000 towards community transport and �50,000 towards road improvements.

There will also be a further �75,000 public open space contribution to compensate for loss of play area adjoining Larham Way.

Only eight letters of objection have been submitted opposing the plans which raise issues including crime related incidents happening in the under pass, visual impact and loss of wildlife.

The town council is happy: they’ve told Fenland planners they “welcome additional facilities”.

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