Sainsbury’s Buckingham bid set to face refusal

Buckingham residents at a Sainsbury's consultation event in May
Buckingham residents at a Sainsbury's consultation event in May

An outline planning application for a large Sainsbury’s supermarket opposite Tesco on London Road, Buckingham, has been recommended for refusal.

There has been strong public support for the scheme, adjacent to the new 700-home Windsor Park estate, with 268 people writing to Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) to back the plans.

Of these, 207 residents raised the issue of choice and the need for competition with Tesco.

But AVDC case officer Claire Bayley said the new store would harm town centre trade and could lead to the closure of Waitrose.

In her report to the Strategic Development Control Committee, Ms Bayley said the proposals “would 
have a significantly adverse impact upon town centre trade and turnover, consumer choice and town centre health”.

The application goes to the committee meeting at AVDC’s Gateway offices on Wednesday, December 11.

The recommendation is that members should defer and delegate the application for refusal.

Tim Watkins, Sainsbury’s regional development executive said: “We are naturally very disappointed our planning application has been recommended for refusal, which is based on flawed advice received by the council.

“We believe if refused, it would be a lost opportunity to create new jobs and improve food shopping choice in Buckingham.

“It is clear from local community feedback and our own retail studies that Tesco’s store at London Road currently dominates main food shopping in Buckingham.

“There is a real need to improve local food shopping choice and that is the strong message we have received from local residents.”

He added he hoped the committee would consider this when deciding the application.

Sainsbury’s has been working with Montpelier Estates to drive forward plans for a new health centre on the site.

That scheme will not go forward in its current form if the supermarket application is not approved.