The great Sainsbury’s debate is rumbling on

Thame cattle market
Thame cattle market

THE debate surrounding the controversial application to build a Sainsbury’s on Thame Cattle Market continues to rage on with a resident who lives nearby insisting he would prefer to live next to a supermarket.

The retail giant has recently submitted a controversial planning application for a 22,000 sq ft store on the site and the cattle market has had its bid to move to a new site on the showground approved.

Artist's impression of the proposed store

Artist's impression of the proposed store

But the funding for the new site on the showground relies on the Sainsbury’s store getting the green light.

Last week Brian Lloyd, chairman of the livestock market said the Sainsbury’s application was crucial to its future.

Now Terry Mayor, who lives in North Street, has told The Thame Gazette he approves of the plans.

In a letter he said: “I am very much in favour of the new store.

“The people who object do not live near the cattle market with all the noise of the animals and all the waste that is left on the road which we have to walk through.

“Especially the small children who also walk in it as well as they go to school and the lorries and the farmers’ vehicles that are parked on the grass verges.”

While the value of the cattlemarket and its importance to the town’s heritage is not in question, there are many who doubt whether the town needs another supermarket and suggest the site could be put to better use.

Elizabeth Noyce said: “Sainsbury’s is holding the people of Thame to ransom.

“They are trying to make us believe that their benevolence is the only way to keep the cattle market in Thame and, in the long run, the Thame Show also.

“It would be interesting to know whether there have been any other interested bidders for the current cattle market site.”

Another Thame resident, writing anonymously, said: “We keep hearing about the future of the cattle market, but securing the future of our town by protecting it from greedy supermarkets like Sainsbury’s who only have their own interests at heart is just as important. People are attracted to Thame because of how it is now.

“Once Sainsbury’s arrives along with all the problems it will bring, there will be no going back.”

Lesley Evans, of Willow Road, said: “The North Street area will struggle with the higher traffic levels that yet another supermarket will bring.

“It has struggled more than ever recently with the extra traffic from the Christmas and New Year shoppers using Waitrose, quite often queuing around the roundabout and up North Street, Bell Lane and the Aylesbury Road.

“I live very close to this area and already have to contend with parked cars in the local streets (mostly Waitrose employees) who have effectively made these streets one way.”