Businessman speaks out against revised Whittlesey Sainsbury’s plans, due before planners, despite 350 petition in favour

How the store will look.

How the store will look. - Credit: Archant

A petition pushing for Fenland District Council to approve planning consent for a Sainsbury’s in Whittlesey has been signed by 350 people ... but one objector is adamant the revised plans will “prejudice” local businesses.

The entrance to Gildenburgh Water Dive In Centre Whittlesey where the new Sainsburys store could be

The entrance to Gildenburgh Water Dive In Centre Whittlesey where the new Sainsburys store could be built. - Credit: Archant

Sainsbury’s revised plans for a food store, petrol station, parking, three roundabouts and a 54 acre country park at the Eastrea Road site will be considered by the planning committee at Fenland Hall on June 22.

The company says the fresh application “represents a minor redesign from the previously approved scheme.

“The access arrangements have had to be revised due to land ownership issues, from a four arm roundabout to a three arm roundabout and the site boundary has been slightly amended.”

But businessman Ian Forster, director of scuba diving company Dive In Ltd, of the nearby Gildenburgh Water estate, says he and fellow landowners, who supported the initial approval, have since been “ignored”.

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Mr Forster, in his lengthy letter of objection, said: “Throughout this planning process, the landowners have been systematically ignored by the applicants, FDC and County Highways.

“A national retailer should not be permitted to change that planning approval and downsize the store and roundabout just because their share of the retail market has been eroded.

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“This will prejudice the business activities and legitimate traders by restricting access to and from the property.” Mr Forster fears, were the application to be approved, the Gildenburgh site, in time, could become “derelict” and that the Gildenburgh lake could become “contaminated by illegal fly-tipping”.

Mr Forster has urged the council to obtain the agreement of Gildenburgh-based landowners “to construct the original roundabout and return to the original approved application which offers the best highways solution, and is the arrangement favoured by the Highways Authority.

“Or move the proposed roundabout a sufficient distance to the east to permit unrestricted access in and out of the Gildenburgh Water access road.”

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