Rival developers bid for either Tesco or Sainsbury supermarket for Whittlesey

A ‘NO HOLDS’ barred fight to secure the hearts and minds of the people of Whittlesey is under way as developers argue the merits of Sainsbury versus Tesco on rival sites.

Manea entrepreneur Robert Sears was first off the mark with a bid to provide a Tesco superstore and petrol station in Eastrea Road but now March based Bruce Smith is ready to put Sainsbury into play with a larger site next door.

Mr Sears has recently submitted his application and yesterday Mr Smith was in Whittlesey at the summer festival and used the occasion to outline his proposals.

His company Whitacre Management Ltd is consulting on plans for a major scheme that they claim will ultimately provide a “gateway into the town.”

The company says it has identified 120 acres in the Eastrea Road area which includes agricultural land and the Gildenburgh Centre.

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The scheme, says Whitacre, will not only deliver a new supermarket but also provide a family pub/restaurant and a 54 acre country park.

Mr Sears is steering his supermarket bid through his Harrier Developments Ltd company which originally won consent for a site in Station Road. He now wants that consent switched to Eastrea Road.

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However Mr Smith claims the Harrier site in Eastrea Road “is inappropriate as it will effectively sterilise the development of the land on which our master plan is established.”

He also claims that while the Tesco proposals will create 200 jobs locally, his much more expansive plans could create over 300 jobs.

Harrier’s application is now before Fenland planners: Whitacre expect to submit their application after Christmas.

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