Sainsbury’s pull out of plans for Olney store

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Shoppers won’t ‘live well for less’ in Olney, following supermarket giant Sainsbury’s pulling out of plans to open a new store in the town.

“We have taken the difficult decision not to progress with our plans for a supermarket in Olney,” a spokesman said.

“We have worked hard to bring a new store to the area but given the earlier refusal along with the significant costs and uncertain outcome of our appeal, the plans are no longer viable.

“We know this decision will be disappointing for many people and would like to thank them for their support.”

But irate Olney shoppers say they have been shortchanged by the council’s refusal to welcome a Sainsbury’s into town. Development Control committee councillors unexpectedly refused the planning application from the supermarket giant in February.

Their decision came despite an overwhelming 84 per cent of Olney residents supporting the proposed new store.

The councillors’ decision was branded “disgraceful” by one shopper.

“What kind of democracy is it when one man’s vote can go against the wishes of the vast majority of people in the town?” said resident Peter Courtis.

Councillors ruled the new store would have a “substantial” impact on other Olney shops, traffic and parking. The countryside site was also contrary to planning policies.

Currently Olney has a Co-op and a Tesco Express, but most residents travel to MK or Bedford to stock up.

“Any business that brings employment and visitors to the town must be good for everyone,” said Mr Courtis.