Spalding cycle action group stalls Sainsbury’s extension

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PLANS to expand a supermarket in Spalding which would create about 77 new jobs have been put on hold to consider better bicycle access arrangements.

South Holland District Council’s development control committee have deferred the proposals for Sainsburys’ store in Holland Market.

Councillors had been considering a number of improvements, including a new domestic area for staff, a new customer toilet block, new restaurant and an in-store bakery.

Speaking at the meeting on Tuesday Claire Southern, of Sainsburys’ agent Indigo Planning Ltd, said the current store did not meet requirements.

She said the proposal included a travel plan and the creation of 77 full and part-time jobs.

She also told committee members a reduction in 35 parking spaces was less than proposed in previous planning applications.

Roger Smith, objecting to the plans on behalf of cycle action group Pedals, said further transport improvements needed to be made.

He said: “The application includes cycle parking – that is good. However, it does not propose how cyclists should gain access to the site and the routes they should take within the site to get to the cycle parks.

“Cyclists should feel as safe and welcome here as the pedestrians and motorists.

“If there are no identified, signed routes then cyclists will have no option other than to weave against pedestrians and manoeuvring vehicles.”

Coun Christine Lawton said she was “inclined to support” the plan, saying the expansion would continue to attract shoppers to Spalding.

She said the loss of parking spaces was “regrettable but unavoidable” and more space around the ATM was a safety issue.

Coun David Wilkinson described access as an “important” issue and suggested the plan be deferred so they could see what ideas Sainsburys could come up with.

“The problem I have is the reduction of 35 parking spaces,” said Coun Stephen Williams.

“I know on a Saturday morning you can not get near the place. There is never anywhere to park.”

He later raised safety issues with present access arrangements around the site.

“Let’s have it in the transport plan with proper routes and storage facilities within the curtilage of the site,” he said.