Supermarkets' silence over Ottery meetings

SAINSBURY S and Tesco are keeping tight-lipped over whether they will accept invitations to stage public meetings in Ottery, as planning applications from both supermarket giants could be revealed by the end of the month.

SAINSBURY'S and Tesco are keeping tight-lipped over whether they will accept invitations to stage public meetings in Ottery, as planning applications from both supermarket giants could be revealed by the end of the month.

Last week the Herald reported how Tesco and Sainsbury's were told to present their supermarket plans to Ottery residents after both saw offers to give town council planners a sneak peak rebuffed.

Ottery's store wars are set to re-ignite in the next fortnight as a joint proposal by Churchill Properties and Tesco is due to be handed to local authority planning chiefs in the week beginning September 14, with Sainsbury's bid expected to follow suit closely after.

When quizzed by the Herald this week, neither firm would say whether Ottery residents will be given a forum to view and discuss plans with representatives.


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A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said the firm was "keen" to show off its plans for a 20,000sq ft Hind Street store, expected by East Devon District Council (EDDC) to be submitted in the next two months, but could not commit as to whether it would.

Meanwhile, EDDC this week scotched rumours that it has received a second bid for the Hind Street Car Park.

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Central to Sainsbury's store bid, the Herald has learnt the firm has 'special purchaser' status with the council, meaning EDDC can enter discussions with it, without putting the car park out to tender.

On the subject of a public meeting, a Tesco spokeswoman said yesterday: "Since our recent public consultation we have been reviewing the feedback that the local community gave us during this process. This feedback has been used to finalise our proposals."

Planning consultants have revealed a "package" which features a 10,000 sq ft Tesco store is "nearly complete". The application is also set to outline conversions of the Town Mill with ground-floor community facilities, and Mill House for 31 residential apartments, as well as the development of "30 units" of accommodation for elderly people on land near the Tumbling Weir Hotel, and 35 residential apartments on land off Victoria Terrace and Mill Street.

Ottery town council's planning committee will be the first local authority to run the rule over the submitted plans before EDDC's development management committee decides if either will become a reality.

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