Sainsbury’s boss calls on public show of support at crunch council meeting

Artist's impression of proposed Sainsbury's store in Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury
Artist's impression of proposed Sainsbury's store in Gatehouse Road, Aylesbury

A Sainsbury’s boss has asked people in favour of their new supermarket in Aylesbury to show their support at the council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

Development executive Tim Watkins has written to the 2,865 people who said they supported plans to build the store in Gatehouse Road during a public consultation.

He told them he was ‘delighted’ that planning officers have recommended the scheme for approval – but warned that councillors on the development control committee do not have to accept this..

“However, public opinion is an important consideration for councillors when making their decision,” he said.

“The committee meeting is open to the public and we would therefore be delighted if you could join us at the meeting to show your support when the decision is made.”

Sainsbury’s wants to build a huge new store fronting Gatehouse Road and Bicester Road, containing a restaurant and pizza, hot food, deli and bakery counters, while also revamping their current town centre store and the area it owns around it in Buckingham Street.

Mr Watkins added that Sainsbury’s proposals ‘will deliver a number of important benefits to the local community’, including 300 new jobs and 25 affordable homes at Gatehouse and 27 affordable homes and 49 retirement flats in the town centre.

A total of 2,685 people (95%) said they supported or ‘tended to support’ the proposals during a public consultation, while only 69 (2.3%) said they opposed it, with the rest undecided.

The district council’s strategic development control committee will hear the proposals at 1pm on Wednesday at their Gatehouse Road offices.