Second chance for Sainsbury’s

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SAINSBURY’S has been given a second chance to get permission for a supermarket.

Councillors on the county development control comm-ittee rejected the company’s proposal by four votes to three at a meeting on Tuesday.

But yesterday four county councillors asked for the scheme to go before the full council for a final decision.

Sainsbury’s wants to build a 30,000 sq ft store on the corner of Lands’ End Way and Burley Park Way.

The plans have divided opinions in Oakham, with some residents supporting it and others backing a rival scheme by Waitrose to open a supermarket on the Rutland County College site in Barleythorpe Road.

About 75 members of the public were at Tuesday’s committee meeting to support the Sainsbury’s scheme.

The application was turned down on the grounds that it was not close to the town centre and that there were more appropriate sites available for development. Council planning officers had recommended the scheme be rejected.

Yesterday county councillors Richard Gale (Ind), Marc Oxley (Lib Dem), Nick Wainwright (Con) and Brian Montgomery (Ind) requested that the decision be referred to full council.

Sainsbury’s regional develop-ment executive Robert Oxley – no relation to Coun Oxley – welcomed the move.

He said: “We are pleased to hear that the decision is being deferred to the full council.

“We understand a number of members have concluded that a decision of this nature, on a scheme of such importance, should be presented to the full council. Since the planning meeting we have been inundated with calls from frustrated residents who want to see Sainsbury’s come to Oakham.

“This deferral will give them a chance to let their local councillor know exactly how they feel about our plans.”

All 26 members of Rutland County Council will now be given the option to discuss and vote on the plans which will create 300 jobs and include a four pump petrol station. A date has not yet been set for that meeting.

The provision of jobs was something that divided the committee meeting on Tuesday.

Planning officers had recomm-ended the plans for refusal because the land had been allocated for offices, which could create 500 jobs in 10 to 15 years time.

Coun Trevor Lovell (Ind) who is ward member for Oakham north west which covers the Sainsbury’s site said: “I would rather see 300 jobs now. This proposal will generate employment in the short-term which is what we need now and what the county is crying out for.”

The developers behind the proposed Waitrose store, The Lindum Group, had welcomed Tuesday’s committee decision.

It said it had held a successful consultation into its plans in Oakham last weekend.

It wants to build a 15,000 sq ft store after the college moves to a new location when its contract with Tresham College ends next year.

Lindum Group director Chris

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