‘Large’ Sainsbury’s set for market site?

Could a large Sainsbury's be coming to town?
Could a large Sainsbury's be coming to town?

A LARGE Sainsbury’s store could be on the way to Thame, creating up to 150 jobs for the town.

The new supermarket would be a similar size to the existing Waitrose and is expected to be situated at the age-old cattle market in the town centre.

The plans would mean the market would be relocated to the Thame Showground, for which planning permission has already been granted.

Sainsbury’s will keep it’s current store in the High Street but it is hoped that should the planned development go through, it would mean more people would do their weekly shop in Thame.

Development executive for the supermarket giant, Andrew Sanderson said: “Our High Street store, which opened last year, has proved to be popular but its size means the range of goods we can offer is limited.

“Many residents currently leave the town to do their main food shopping but a new, larger store will help retain trade in the town.”

A large car park will be part of the plans for the store and a spokesman for Sainsbury’s confirmed this can be used by shoppers visiting the town centre.

He said: “It is envisaged that the store would provide more parking spaces than is currently provided in the cattle market car park.

“The spaces would be made available to people going to the town centre to encourage visitors to make linked shopping trips.”

Plans for a supermarket of this size have gone down well with the organisers of the cattle market, who believe the proposal could secure its future.

Chairman Brian Lloyd said: “The agreement with Sainsbury’s will secure the future of the cattle market and is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss.

“The market is vitally important to the town and the rural community in this area.

“We need to move to a new facility in order to meet the requirements of modern farming, including increased bio-security and animal welfare standards. “

Sainsbury’s will now consult with the public before putting in a planning application.

As yet there is no time-frame as to when any proposed development will be completed as the cattle market will have to be relocated before building work could start.