Tesco and Sainsbury's urged to talk to Ottery residents

PUBLISHED: 18:24 31 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:10 18 June 2010

TESCO and Sainsbury s have been invited to stage public meetings in Ottery after it emerged plans to comprehensively redevelop the town s factory site will be submitted in three weeks.

TESCO and Sainsbury's have been invited to stage public meetings in Ottery after it emerged plans to "comprehensively redevelop" the town's factory site will be submitted in three weeks.

The Herald can reveal a joint proposal by Churchill Properties and Tesco is due to be handed to local authority planning chiefs in the week beginning September 14.

Both Sainsbury's and Tesco, who are poised to do battle for Ottery's shoppers, this week saw offers to give town councillors a sneak peak of their supermarket plans rebuffed.

Representatives from each supermarket giant wanted to address the council at a forthcoming meeting.

However, concerned their Broad Street base would be "flooded" by hundreds of interested residents, councillors have instead told the firms to share the information with the entire town, and, offered them the opportunity to stage public meetings instead.

"They should run it themselves," said Cllr Claire Wright at a meeting on Monday night, adding: "feelings are running so high. It will be interesting to hear what local people think both for and against the plans."

Cllr Roger Giles thought his colleagues should send the supermarkets "a loud raspberry" and labelled their approach "unacceptable". He said: "I can recall both putting on an exhibition, spending a lot of money renting premises and attracting hundreds of people. There's a considerable interest, so many people would want to attend it's not appropriate to hold it in here (the council offices)."

The council's planning committee has long said it will need to rent a larger venue when members get the opportunity to pass comment on the incoming bids. Councillors who express any opinion over either proposal before those talks will be unable to vote on the matter.

Cllr Paul Lewis said: "It's important that we involve the public as much as we can in this."

"We should attend any meeting as council representatives and gain the feeling of the town.


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