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Sainsbury's plans new superstore

By Isle of Thanet Gazette  |  Posted: February 03, 2012

  • Sainsbury's is announcing a decline of 85 million carrier bags in the last six months, and an increase of nearly 50% of re-usable carrier bags.

  • LOCATION: The former Hundreds Farm is being proposed as the site for a new Sainsbury's store

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SAINSBURY'S is planning to open a 12,000 sq ft superstore with parking for 90 cars in Westgate.

The company hopes to build on land it bought in December at the former Hundreds Farm site in Canterbury Road.

The firm says that 150 jobs would be created.

Despite the Westgate Co-op supermarket and BP Marks & Spencer all being within a mile, a Tesco Metro being built at Westbrook and proposals for a Tesco superstore at the Arlington site in Margate, plus two Co-op supermarkets in nearby Birchington, Sainsbury's spokesman David Hoare said the company had identified Westgate "as an area that currently isn't well served by a conveniently located supermarket".

Mr Hoare would not say when he envisaged the store opening, commenting: "The project is at a very early stage. Public consultation on the proposals is just beginning."

Mike van den Berg, regional development surveyor, said: "We are excited about our proposals for Westgate-on-Sea and believe that the new store would greatly improve choice for local shoppers.

"We hope to meet residents at the public exhibition, discuss the proposals and listen to feedback on our plans."

On Tuesday a representative from the company rang Westgate ward councillors Tom King and Simon Moores and Birchington South councillor Alasdair Bruce.

All three expressed their concerns to the Isle of Thanet Gazette centred on three issues: the effect on trade in Birchington and Westgate, the proximity of nearby supermarkets and the effect of added traffic either on to the Canterbury Road or on to Linksfield Road.

Mr King, who is also chairman of Westgate and Westbrook Residents' Association said the plan was "not viable", warning that Westgate was in danger of becoming a "ghost town like Margate".

He said: "Once the small shops are gone, they are never coming back."

He also drew attention to a previous planning application, unconnected with Sainsbury's, for apartments and 14 houses that had been submitted for the site.

He said Kent Highways would not allow an entrance on to the Canterbury Road as it was considered too dangerous, especially for motorists from Birchington turning right across oncoming traffic.

He described access to the supermarket via Linksfield Road as "intolerable" for residents.

He said: "I'll be very interested to see where Sainsbury's exit and entrance is planned."

He also warned that the store was unlikely to have progressed plans so far without preplanning advice from officers at Thanet council saying: "They would clear obstructions out of the way first."

Mr Moores also voiced concerns about road safety, adding: "In Birchington and Westgate we are lucky enough to protect our local shops, which are doing OK in difficult circumstances. This is not appropriate."

Mr Bruce warned against "jumping to conclusions" but deemed the proposal "a great concern to our embattled high streets and a nightmare from a traffic point of view". A website, www.sainsburys- westgateonsea.co.uk is planned to go live today (Friday), outlining the plans.

A two-day public exhibition about the proposal will be staged at the Ursuline College in Canterbury Road on Friday, February 10 between 5pm and 8pm and on Saturday, February 11, between 10am and 4pm. Also see Sainsbury's advert page 7.

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  • davidogilvie  |  February 11 2012, 3:36PM

    wake up westgate! atms never working top food prices in thanet. parking .wot parking.. schools using the a28 as aparking lot school car parks seem to be empty. solution roundabouts at wstgate traffic lights .again by the ursaline school.traffic calming and a20 mile speed limet with more police camreas etc. lotys of space to build car parks at the rear of king ethelberts and the userline schools.TAKE A LOOK. yes we want a super store so build and soon please.

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  • showbiz_28  |  February 08 2012, 12:35AM

    This is addressed to anyone at sainsbury who gives a damn. I have recently found out that Sainsbury is planning to build a supermarket in Westgate on Sea. As a local resident of this fantastic little village, I feel duty bound to convey my absolute opposition to these plans. Westgate on Sea has a great community spirit, created in no small part by the range of independent shops and businesses that continue to supply the local residents. We have a very varied selection of businesses including cafès, fresh veg shops, newsagents, a cinema, a couple of great restaraunts, a superb deli and, oh yes a perfectly adequate supermarket already. As does Birchington which has two, and is no more than a mile away. Your proposal for another supermarket in Thanet, and particularly in Westgate will only encourage more and more people away from those businesses that have fought hard to survive. An added downside will be the drastic increase in traffic, which in turn will lead to unwanted congestion right on top of local schools. Another added danger to school pupils and residents alike. If they have to drive to your proposed site, they could just as easily drive an extra five or ten minutes to Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Co-op, Lidl, Aldi, or even your other supermarket in Westwood, as they do now. So far, Westgate on Sea has bucked the trend of other less fortunate town centers, Margate being the obvious example and the sorry state that that is now in. The state of the high street, and a number of others just like it has been created by the demise of previously prosperous business brands that have gone by the wayside because their share of the market was encouraged away from them for 'one stop shopping'. Many people like to shop at independent shops but your plans will be nothing more than another deathnail for small communities. You won't be happy until we are all shopping at 'your convenience'. Just because there isn't a supermarket there, does not mean that we need one, or there should be one. If you really feel that there is a shortage of supermarkets and that Thanet really needs another one, please find somewhere else to build it. We don't want it. Perhaps you could consider the number of empty premises in Margate high street that Sainsbury, along with its rivals, worked so effectively to empty. Myself, and I'm sure many other residents of Westgate on Sea will be offering our fullest support to the local businesses we love and continue to support, and will oppose your plans in the strongest manner possible.

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  • Andrew_CPRE  |  February 07 2012, 2:43PM

    CPRE Protect Kent consider this a totally in-appropriate and un-necessary proposal. There are adquate shops, in both number and variety, in the vicinity to serve the communities of Westgate and Birchington - this supermarket will only draw trade away from them, not add choice to the area. There is only so much money to go around, especially for groceries and similar goods, so Sainsburys' gain would result in a loss for other similar retailers. The location of this proposed store is unsuitable for the level of traffic it will generate, and will cause chaos on the major road in and out of Margate. There are already serious traffic problems along this stretch of the Canterbury Road, particularly at school start and finish times. A supermarket at this location will create a serious risk for both motorists and pedestrians. Being within a residential area, the site would be better used for affordable housing or sheltered accommodation. We believe the promise of up to 150 jobs being created will not be realised, as Sainsburys are likely to move staff from its other stores in East Kent to man this new store, and stretch its existing resources even thinner.

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  • tracie3568  |  February 07 2012, 6:57AM

    yes we do. we do not want to be ripped of by the local shops like londis by paying their expensive prices we cant all get up to westwood to the big supermarkets so a big supermarket close to locals will be really handy so sainsburys yes yes yes go ahead

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  • SVGreen  |  February 06 2012, 1:26PM

    Westgate and Birchington villages have a vibrant selection of local shops that are well used. A large Sainsbury store in Westgate would leach customers from the local shops and we would be left with closed boarded up shops, resembling Margate High Street, and the area would look depressed and scruffy. I would hate this to happen, I like Westgate and Birchington just the way they are now. Plans are advanced for a Tesco at Margate and Sainsbury are planning a new Superstore at Westwood Cross. PLEASE SAY NO TO SAINSBURY'S AT WESTGATE!

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  • keenrj  |  February 03 2012, 11:29AM

    my family moved to westgate on sea because it is not busy and the westgate shops are local and very friendly, also birchington shops are also very near if sainsburys want to develop a site perhaps they could take over one of the two co-op shops in birchington, that would give the area some competition, we do not want or need another superstore mr R J KEEN.

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