Delay to supermarket plans in Oakham

The old Tresham College site in Oakham, which is due to become a Sainsbury's. EMN-140511-112517001
The old Tresham College site in Oakham, which is due to become a Sainsbury's. EMN-140511-112517001
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Sainsbury’s says it is unable to confirm when work will begin on its new store in Oakham, although the site itself will soon be cleared.

The supermarket chain revealed this week that the changing economic climate had affected its plans for the site in Barleythorpe Road.

Regional development manager Andrew Sanderson said: “The food retail market is extremely competitive and has changed considerably since our proposals in Oakham were first submitted in September 2012. For this reason the store is not currently on a build programme and we are therefore unable to confirm a start date for the construction of the store itself.

“We are continuing to review the plans and will update the community once this process has been completed.”

Despite the delay in building work, Sainsbury’s does plan to start clearing the former Tresham College site this year.

Mr Sanderson said: “The clearance works will comprise the removal of asbestos from the existing buildings followed by demolition works. This is due to commence in November and will take approximately 10 weeks to complete.”

Sainsbury’s had wanted to develop land between the A606 Oakham bypass and Lands’ End Way before settling on the Barleythorpe Road site. Last month discount chain Aldi instead won planning permission to develop the bypass site.

Planning officers had advised councillors to reject Aldi’s plans at a meeting on October 14, arguing that the land was designated for employment use such as offices, warehousing and manufacturing.

Officers also said the supermarket would have a “detrimental impact upon linked trips to Oakham town centre”. But councillors approved the plans in the wake of huge public support.