Sainsbury’s winning battle for public opinion in Whittlesey but will they win the day on new store bid?

SAINSBURY’S has collected more than double the number of first preference votes for a new supermarket for Whittlesey than rivals Tesco.

In a survey being undertaken by local councillor Martin Curtis, he tweeted this week that of those returns checked so far Sainsbury has 45 to 50 per cent vote of the votes, Tesco 20 per cent, and for both to go ahead, surprisingly, a fifth of all respondents. Six per cent don’t want a supermarket at all.

Cllr Curtis is a member of the planning committee of Fenland District Council which will determine applications by Tesco and Sainsbury’s. He said he expected the meeting to be on August 29 and at the Manor Leisure Centre, Whittlesey, although this has yet to be confirmed.

In May plans by both for stores along the Eastrea Road were delayed whilst the council made a fresh assessment of the application already approved for Tesco to build a store in Station Road.

Cllr Curtis is still collating his survey results and tweeted that a copy of the questions was given to officers of Fenland Council before he went ahead with it.

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In recent days Cllr Curtis tweeted that he had “got home to a mass of survey returns tonight. Really glad people are responding.”

In an exchange of comments with me on Twitter he said the survey was fully justified and that “innovation is good if it does the right thing, especially when it challenges the status quo. Knowing views and comments is good.”

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He also noted that four out of five people felt that a country park- promised by Sainsbury’s if their bid is successful- would be “good for Whittlesey”.

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