‘Let the community decide’
Name and address supplied
IT is interesting to note the comments of the chairman of Thame Cattle Market in your recent article referring to an agreement with Sainsbury’s to help fund the market to relocate to a new site west of the Show Ground, some 600 yards along a new access road north of Thame bypass.
Looking back at the planning history of this move, it is evident from the planning inspector’s report in 2008 that he accepted there was a special case for the market to move to a location outside the town boundary as it was judged to be an important resource for the farming community.
There have been two planning permissions approved since then and the preferred proposal, which is valid for three years, is for a 40,000 square feet building which includes a 300 person sales ring, offices on two floors, a reception area and café, as well as parking for up to 40 lorries and 80 cars.
I’m sure that everyone wishes them well in their new venture, which clearly will serve a wider area of the country than at present.
Sainsbury’s have been trying very hard over recent months to demonstrate that there is a need for their new store, but many consider that there would be significant harm caused to the character of our historic town which would outweigh any benefits.
I suspect that their new planning application will again rehearse these arguments and is likely to offer inducements to gain local support.
However, to link the future of the Cattle Market business with the recent proposal for a new large Sainsbury’s store in the town seems at best disingenuous.
The district council’s Core Strategy proposal for the present market area, which is in public ownership, is for mixed use and specifically does not support a large food store here or elsewhere in the town.
The new and emerging Thame Local Plan, being prepared locally by the town council under the auspices of the new Localism Act, has yet to come up with proposals.
It is anticipated that these will be set out for consultation in the coming weeks for all to comment upon.
The Core Strategy and the Thame Local Plan should both be approved by spring or early summer 2012 and these will be the primary documents which will guide the future development of our town.
By all accounts, the relocation of Thame Cattle Market to a new site outside the town is recognised to be a good thing for the farming community.
It must similarly be a good thing to plan for the future of their vacated site for the entire town, and not just for a few commercial interests.
This is the last available site of this size in the town centre and it is important that all sections of the community should be involved in its future.
Thame will be unrecognisable
SO Thame needs a new supermarket 50 yards away from an existing one?
I don’t think so and I’ll bet neither do our high street shopkeepers nor the existing perfectly adequate supermarkets.
Sainsbury’s only motive is to make more profit not to bring more benefit to the town.
The arguments have been well rehearsed regarding this scheme and is plain to see that the character of the town would be adversely affected by the extra traffic congestion that would be inevitable.
Put this together with the new housing proposals and Thame will be changed out of all recognition – and not for the better.