Sainsbury’s showcases its plans for Oakham at two exhibitions

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A SUPERMARKET displayed its plans for a new store in Oakham on Friday and Saturday.

Sainsbury’s hopes to open a 28,000 sq ft superstore on the Rutland County College site in Barleythorpe Road, Oakham, and held a consultation event to showcase its plans.

If approved the new store would create 250 jobs, the majority of which would be part-time.

More than 100 people attended on each of the two days and the superstore has also sent leaflets with a tear-off slip for people’s response to more than 6,000 homes in the town.

The firm had previously applied to build a 30,000 sq ft store and a petrol station in Lands’ End Way, Oakham, but plans were turned down by Rutland County Council.

Emily Annable, from the property development team, said there had been positive feedback.

She said: “We have been really pleased with the response and the vast majority of people have been really positive about the proposals.

“It was very encouraging that people who had supported our previous plan were still in favour of Sainsbury’s coming to Oakham.”

She said people had raised concerns about access to the proposed store but said that the property team was working closely with Rutland County Council’s highways team.

The plans include a roundabout at the junction between Barleythorpe Road and Lands’ End Way and a zebra crossing in Lands’ End Way.

Mrs Annable said the supermarket would mainly stock food items but would have a small amount of non-food items, including children’s clothing, which people at the exhibition had requested.

Sainsbury’s hopes to submit a full planning application in the autumn with a view to getting a decision in spring next year. Mrs Annable said work would start soon after with a view to opening in the autumn of 2014.

Anne Mayo, 63, of Huntsman Drive, Oakham, said: “I am quite happy to see Sainsbury’s build here.”

Rosemary and Colin Ainsworth, of Home Farm Close, Burley, currently shop at the Co-op in Burley Road but said they would use Sainsbury’s.

Mrs Ainsworth said: “For us it will mean we don’t have to go through the town and can come via the bypass. I was disappointed Sainsbury’s didn’t get permission for the other site and we sincerely hope the council supports it this time.”

Mr Ainsworth believed more needed to be done to ease congestion in the town.

He said: “When the barrier is down at the Melton Road crossing, I still think there will be cars backing up.”

And Patsy Clifton, of High Street, Oakham, said: “Having Sainsbury’s will give us a better choice of supermarkets and it is within walking distance of the town.”