Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Will Sainsbury commit or not? Prudhoe Town Centre

From Take Pride in Prudhoe.

About six weeks have passed since the Town Centre application passed. Prudhoe can hardly be said to have been overwhelmed meantime with information. Is everything well with the project? In the Courant there has been some briefing
. A key sentence has been pointed out to me. "the supermarket building, which has always been intended to be occupied by Sainsbury’s, although the supermarket giant has yet to formally commit itself to the project.". My informant claims to have this view separately expressed to him directly from a Sainsbury executive. Yet my memory of last summer's consultation was that Sainsbury was right in there. This was the consultation whose results were never published. Was there something in there which has discouraged Sainsbury? Are other factors in play like the new Morrisons at Blaydon? Is uncertainty once again the watchword on the streets of Prudhoe?

(added 24th August 2012: the new Hexham Courant reports that the consent is on the desk of the Secretary of State because in some respects it breaches planning guidelines. He is expected to either approve by 31st August or to call in for a public enquiry. There are many who will hope for the latter but I would not bank on it.)

(added 13th October 2012: there's not been a word since although the Duke of Northumberland is much exercised with water at Spencer Court in Newburn. Informally I reckon I have been told Sainsbury no longer interested,  the long awaited flood study of Prudhoe is being carried out, the Secy of State did sign off, but Northumberland West Area Planners at Hexham (whose chair was sacked for bullying in October 2012) are hanging onto the decision. The objectors say they are complaining to Europe and two town councillors tell me the Duke will do nothing before 2014. About half of this has been properly reported.)

(added 8th November 2012: Sainbury's walked away from Prudhoe.)

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