Thame may not get new Sainsbury’s as council report recommends plan is rejected

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Sainsbury’s has expressed its disappointment after council officers recommended plans for a new Thame supermarket be turned down.

Planning officials at South Oxfordshire District Council have said the store should not be built because it would prevent mixed use of the site, be out of keeping with its surroundings, involve the loss of a sports and social club and would ‘overshadow and be oppressive to’ nearby homes.

Officers also described the proposed community centre as ‘inadequate’.

Councillors will have the final say on the proposal at a planning committee meeting next Wednesday (March 13), but it is rare for them to vote against the officers’ recommendation.

The controversial plan proposes a store on the Cattle Market site in Thame town centre.

Following the publication of the council officers’ report, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “We believe that a new Sainsbury’s store would improve main food shopping choice and competition and increase footfall in the town centre.

“The development would also include the creation of a new community centre for local groups, result in around 80 new jobs for local people and see the improvement of parking facilities in Thame.

“The redevelopment proposals would also safeguard the future of the cattle market and we hope, in light of the benefits it will deliver, that members will support our application.”