Monday, February 27, 2012

Briefly Sainsbury's

Birchington Parish Council had Sainsbury's on the agenda this evening and along with Westgate's Cllr Tom King, I sat in. And very crowded too it was as you might expect!

From Sainsbury's PR Agency, GKA, David Hoare -pictured below- and Maria Twomey answered questions and shared the early results of the company's own public consultation. This was reportedly 300 responses by email, mail, etc of which 55% supported the plans and 39% were opposed, with 6% undecided. That's roughly 5.5% of the Westgate population.

In contrast, local trader, Reg Bell, who was present, has raised 1,000 signatures to his 'Say No to Sainsbury's' petition, which he will be handing-in to the planning department of Thanet District Council.

While several people spoke out in favour of the plan, the great majority of those present this evening were quite outspoken in their opposition to the building of a 12,000 sq/ft supermarket on the Canterbury road, next-door to the Ursuline college.

I did raise the matter of the Will of the late Ivor Reed, which made a condition of future development of Hundreds Farm, one of not more than three houses. GKA pointed-out that this was not a covenant and no restriction to commercial development on the land.

Once again, the principal concerns surrounded the potential impact on the surrounding high-street economies, the impact on the Canterbury road of a new junction and what this might mean for traffic and surrounding schools and of course a reluctance to see commercial development on that side of the Canterbury road.

Cllr King and I have offered to call a combined public meeting when Sainsbury's finally submit their application for development and the company have agreed to attend, to present their plans in a properly chaired open forum and allow the traders and the public present their views.

I will be keeping readers informed as this progresses.


1 o'clock Rob said...

Thanks for the feedback Simon, was unable to attend and not surprised with the traders petition numbers as a lot of shops in Westgate had the Save Our Shops posters up.

Anonymous said...

Yet even with this campaign Rob, the majority of people STILL want it.

1 o'clock Rob said...

But the majority haven't spoken so we don't actually know what they think about it.

Anonymous said...

Usually people who oppose things tend to shout the loudest (especially in Thanet), so I think it's a fairly safe bet that most people support this.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Usually people who oppose things tend to shout the loudest (especially in Thanet), so I think it's a fairly safe bet that most people are apathetic/not involved/ haven't formed an opinion.

Thankfully we don't have to use your measure of how people think.

DrM. said...

I'm told the Sainsbury's application for Westgate has now been submitted. I will check and probably blog about the next step if this is correct.