Letters to the editor

MCBT Letters to the editor
MCBT Letters to the editor

‘We’re being held to ransom’

Elizabeth Noyce,


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.

Are there no builders wishing, or able to develop affordable homes, or even sheltered housing?

Are the council authorities unable to see their way clear to taking over the site in order to provide community facilities?

Perhaps we need a philanthropic benefactor.

All the facts should be made open for all to see.

At present all we have are the “wonderful benefits” to the town that Sainsbury’s are so keen to provide, plus similar comments from the chairman of Thame Cattle Market. To a certain extent, one can see his problem – few of us wish to see the demise of the cattle market, but surely a large, unnecessary, supermarket cannot be the only solution.

If Sainsbury’s is allowed to build a store just over 100 yards from Waitrose, Thame will have more supermarket area per capita than the town of Aylesbury.


Furthermore, the planned design of the new store is not sympathetic with the rest of the area.

We should also remember that Tesco already own a large area of land on the ring road – how about that for over development of supermarkets in the future?

It is said that having a new store would bring many shoppers to Thame from the outside area and that our local independent shopkeepers would benefit – what do our local butchers think of this?

We should also bear in mind that several local retail outlets have closed in the past two years, mainly due to outrageous rent rises, where will this end?

Thame does need an outlet providing affordable clothing for children – Woolworths provided this, but sadly it is no more.

We don’t need a new Sainsbury’s – or any other large supermarket.

Sainsbury’s are simply shameful

Tom Atkins,


THE planning application for the new Sainsbury’s should be refused, because its timing, like many other large applications currently being made all over the UK by large retailers and housebuilders, is clearly intended to circumvent the new Neighbourhood Planning process introduced by the Localism Act.

Sainsbury’s should be ashamed of itself for making such a momentous application when its planning consultants must know that the Thame Neighbourhood Plan, one of the 30 flagships chosen for the government’s pilot scheme, is currently in development by the town council with the assistance of SODC, and is still collating the views of local people and businesses about the evolution of the town as a whole over the next 15 years.

The Neighbourhood Plan is due for completion this spring or in the early summer. Why can’t Sainsbury’s wait until after then before submitting its application?

Is it perhaps afraid of engaging properly with the people of Thame, as part of an overall considered plan for the town’s future?

Yes, Sainsbury’s is conducting a smash-and-grab raid on the cattle market site, hoping it will be treated in isolation under the pre-localism planning rules, and be approved before localism comes properly to life.

I urge SODC and Thame council to reject this planning application because it is premature, takes no account of SODC’s Core Strategy for Thame (which contains no proposals for a large new food store), and it completely ignores the current Neighbourhood Planning process.

I live closest and want a new store

Tony Spence,


l LIVE closer to the site than anyone and give my support to what Mr Mayor says in supporting the Sainsbury’s plans.

It will be a shame the youngsters of Thame will have to move out and find somewhere else to skate board, play floodlit football and find another racetrack to do their doughnut turns at night.

As for the “We don’t need another supermarket brigade” if you take all of the coffee, charity, estate agents, fast food and hairdressers out of Thame what are we left with?

Here’s hoping JD Weatherspoons open up a pub in the town as well with a McDonalds next to it, that would really wake Thame up.

The deal is far from sealed yet

Krystyna Hewitt,


I HAVE read with interest the recent articles and letters regarding the possible development by Sainsbury’s on the cattle market site.

There seems to be a number of misconceptions about this, not least that a planning application has already been approved, as was implied in the article which gave the view point of the company which runs the cattle market.

In fact, Sainsbury’s’ application has not yet been ratified by SODC and it then has to go through the whole planning process, so there will be plenty of opportunity for people to express their views during this time – the matter is by no means decided.

The company which runs the livestock market is a commercial company, so it is run to achieve maximum profitability.

Its motivation for wanting to move is to increase its business and getting Sainsbury’s to fund the move would be of huge financial benefit to them.

But it is not true to say that this move can only happen if Sainbury’s’ plan is approved and wrong to think that the only use for the site would be for a supermarket, when many, many residents believe that this prime town centre site should be used to provide much-needed versatile community facilities for the benefit of the whole town.

The local plan specifically rules out a supermarket and highlights the need for community facilities on the site.

The community space which Sainsbury’s has included in its publicity material is inadequate: it is too small and does not offer the flexibility needed by the various groups that might use the space.

Moving the cattle market to the edge of the town may be crucial to the financial health of the livestock market but ensuring adequate community facilities which benefit everyone in this ever-growing population is crucial to the life of this lovely town.

Yes, of course we need shops – but Thame is already well-served with a variety of excellent choices.

Please, everyone, examine these proposals carefully.

Take the opportunity to

comment on the plans once they are published so that any development on this precious town-centre site produces the maximum gain for the long term benefit of the town.

Store won’t ruin agricultural gem

Roy Nixon,


AS recent newcomers to Thame, we were attracted to the town by its layout and variety of independent shops in the High Street.

Thame is an architectural gem. Even the presence of a Sainsbury’s supermarket in the High Street doesn’t detract from this.

However, the thought of a “large” Sainsbury’s store being built on the cattle market site fills us with horror. > Continued on page 20