Consent imminent on realignment of Twenty Foot Drain at Chatteris which could pave way for Tesco store

View of proposed new Chatteris Tesco

View of proposed new Chatteris Tesco - Credit: Archant

PERMISSION to realign part of the Twenty Foot Drain at Chatteris to enable Tesco to build a supermarket is expected to be given within days but work on the new store is still some way off.

Ian Smith, chief executive of the Middle Level Commissioners with oversight of the Warboys, Somersham and Pidley Drainage Board, said today that an agreement with store developers Harrier is imminent.

He said engineers were finalising the specification for the construction of a new water course before the stretch of drain can be closed and filled in.

The board was not unhappy with the realignment since the existing section the developers wish to fill in is unstable.

He agreed with Liz Dent of Harrier who told community website ShapeYourPlace that “this project is definitely more complicated than any other project I’ve worked on”.

Mr Smith said: “She’s right to say it’s a very complicated process but I am hopeful board will be able to sign agreement very soon. It is a major project since it is the outfall drain for the majority of Warboys, Somersham and Pidley area.”

Ms Dent told ShapeYourPlace readers that “we are almost there. We are equally frustrated that we have not made a meaningful start already.

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“We will be underway very shortly.”

She said once work starts on the drain she will update Chatteris people regularly on progress so that everyone knows in advance “of certain closures which will affect people living locally.”

She said Larnham Way play area will have to be temporarily closed for safety reasons when the underpass and sewer diversion is constructed.

The stretch of river to be realigned runs from where the drain emerges into open fields north of Honeysome Industrial estate to a short distance south of a travellers’ encampment.

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