Sainsbury's sets sights on Ottery

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:07 17 June 2010

SAINSBURY S looks set to unveil its plans for a town-centre Ottery store in the next fortnight.

SAINSBURY'S looks set to unveil its plans for a town-centre Ottery store in the next fortnight.

The Herald understands the supermarket giant intends to display its proposals for a 20,000 sq ft Hind Street store to residents at a Mill Street venue on Friday, January 16 and Saturday, January 17 and that plans could include:

- Leasing the Hind Street Car Park from East Devon District Council for 99 years and

doubling it in size to offer two hours free parking for people wanting to use town centre shops.

- Incorporating a possible bus shelter at the site.

- Taking control of and maintaining the car park's toilets and display board.

It is also understood that while Sainsbury's will buy the remaining Coleridge Trust-owned part of the site if a planning application is successful, it will remain sheltered and the current wall and trees lining it may remain in place.

Customers driving to the store will use the town's one-way system, however, lorries' delivery stop off point will be at the Land of Canaan end of the site to avoid town-centre congestion problems.

The public exhibition will re-ignite a battle between Tesco and Sainsbury's for Ottery's shoppers and add to the debate over which townsfolk would prefer.

Viv Abbott, chairman of Ottery's Chamber of Commerce was shown Sainsbury's plans before Christmas. She said: "Sainsbury's seem to offer much more than Tesco, particularly with its location in the centre of the town. We need to keep people in the town.

"A Huge benefit to people will be free parking in Hind Street. EDDC's car parking charges have been crippling the town, its evident in Mill Street that shops are struggling because of them.

"They (Sainsbury's) indicated they would possibly work with the chamber (of commerce) and help if they could in any way, maybe with things like the Christmas lights."

Sustainable Ottery and its sub-group Factory Future (FF) will host a public meeting regarding the supermarkets next Friday, January 9, in the Old Boys School, Yonder Street at 7.30pm.

FF member Phil Foggitt said: "We are focussing on Tesco at the moment. Sainsbury's muddies the water as there are positive elements. Overall we want to keep people focussed on the broader picture- any supermarket will damage to local shops and that is our prime concern."

Sainsbury's will confirm the exhibition venue and reveal further details next week. Read about it in next Friday's Herald.

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