Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A Sainsbury Store for Westgate?

Not Tesco this time around and as the information is now in the public domain on another local weblog, I can now report that Sainsbury have applied to build a new store at the 'Hundreds farm' site on the Canterbury Road, next-door to the Ursuline College. (area right of picture with green buildings)

This was embargoed until Friday and Sainsbury's agent called me and other local councillors yesterday to advise us of their intentions. I have already discussed the application with Cllr Brian Goodwin and Cllr Tom King of the WWRA as well as Cllr Alasdair Bruce from Birchington. Tom and I plan to meet with local traders very soon to hear their views on the matter which readers are also welcome to post here for discussion, knowing that councillors of all parties will read what they have to say.

The planned store will be approximately 12,000 sq ft (1,114 sq m). The proposals would also provide up to 90 car parking spaces.

The company writes: "Through our plans we are seeking to increase supermarket choice locally and make main food shopping more convenient for residents of Westgate-on-Sea. Our store would also create up to 150 full and part time jobs for the local community. All new jobs would be supported by Sainsbury’s 'You Can' training and development programme which enables colleagues to gain nationally recognised qualifications."

They will be holding public exhibitions at the Ursuline College, Canterbury Road at the following dates and times:

Friday 10 February, 5pm – 8pm

Saturday 11 February, 10am – 4pm

Sainsbury has an email address for local residents or traders who wish to express their views or seek further information.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may want to talk to Birchington Traders too and councillors if you are still on speaking terms.
The greed of supermarkets is taking over our island and screwing our local shopping communities. Think about the traffic problems as well with a school, housing estate and a supermarket all entering the Canterbury road at one point on a dual carriageway.

Peter Checksfield said...

Excellent news. Perhaps with this & the Westbrook Tesco (opening this month), Westbrook / Garlinge / Westgate / Birchington will bring back some of the shoppers we lost to Margate & Westwood Cross over the past 20 years. All we need now is another small supermarket in Birchington (why are two co-op's allowed to operate there?).

Peter Checksfield said...

...and as for 3:11's comment, it seems that everytime a supermarket wants to open outside of Westwood Cross (Ramsgate, Margate, Westgate, etc) people start moaning about potential traffic problems, yet they also moan about everyone shopping at Westwood Cross. Yes it will increase traffic a little, but it will also ease traffic at WC, & (more importantly) will be of great help to the many people who don't drive cars, particularly pensioners.

SteveP said...

What a terrible and catastrophic plan, surely as a local councillor you will not allow this to go through.
This must be strongly rejected from all quarters, especially from local traders already struggling with the current conditions.
If this goes ahead you can kiss goodbye to 80% of all small independent shops in Birchington,Westgate and Westbrook, do we really want to see the disgrace of Margate High St repeated in our villages.

As for Peter Checksfield, you need your head examining, look at the issues raised by over capacity of supermarkets in places such as Brighton where the local community are smashing the tesco store up every month in a bid to try and get rid of it !
Tesc,Sainsbury and alike need to take a very big hint.... enough is enough.

Peter Checksfield said...

Steve P, try buying half decent fresh fruit & veg in Westbrook & Garlinge right now, & please let me know how you get on... then try again once Tesco Metro has opened.

The fact is that most of North Thanet's villages were decimated years ago... by Margate High Street! When I lived in Garlinge during the late 80s I could buy pretty much everything I ever wanted without even leaving the high street thanks to the 3 grocery stores, 2 greengrocers, butchers, bakers, post office & large DIY / hardware store. Now they're all gone. Of course other villages in Thanet or just outside have NO shops now (Acol, Manston, Monkton, Stourbridge, Woodnesborough). So the damage was done a long time ago. At least this will bring back those people lucky enough (or selfish enough) to have cars that currently use Westwood Cross or Margate.

Peter Checksfield said...

That's Stourmouth by the way (not Stourbridge). A once thriving village with it's own school & brewery(!) as well as several stores, the population is around the same as it was in Victorian times.

Anonymous said...

Why don't the people of Brighton just boycott stores if they don't want them?

Mike Morris said...

I think that Peter may be missing the point. A Supermarket in Canterbury Road will not ease Westwood Cross but will close many of the local shops in Westgate and possibly Birchington. I should know, as my shop and the local Londis will be almost certainly closed.

What is more to the point. The developer was seeking to build 14 houses on this site. This plan was dismissed by the Council in late 2011 because of Highways fears about the amount of traffic access at this very busy point beside two large schools.

If this is the case then surely a supermarket with 90 parking places will cause a lot more traffic movement than 14 houses!

Also why the involvement by the Ursuline? Are they intending to sell some of their adjacent land to help offset their depts?

I hope that this will be robustly fought not only personally as my business will be closed, but also because it will cause absolute chaos on the road.

Anonymous said...

I think most people would prefer to shop in Sainsbury's than Londis!

Anonymous said...

Don't think Ursuline has any land on that side so that idea is just scaremongering. The existing residential development on the old farm site sits between Ursuline and the proposed new store.

Nonetheless this has to be one of the daftest ideas around. Canterbury Road is already something of a racetrack along that stretch, further complicated by parked cars and children appearing from between them.

Kartik Patel said...

I support Mike's comments. The big 4
already dominate the food business
in Thanet. This proposal will ruin
a number of convenience stores in
Westgate especially my Londis store.
It will reduce the choice of services
available to residents.
If the previous application was rejected on traffic congestion & safety grounds how can a much larger
development be favourably considered.

Anonymous said...

Bring on Sainsbury, Give the complacent local stores a kick up the B*m. Customers might get better choice

Anonymous said...

you all moan about the prices in the co op in westgate/birch now you have something new to moan about never happy!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many local people Londis employ but I suspect it's less than 150.

Tim said...

Accepting that there are many opposing arguments around the issue of this develpoment, I think it is worth looking at people's shopping habits. Yes, I do use Sainsbury @ Westwood Cross for our main family shopping as I like the quality of their products. I also use the local shops in Westgate for convenience. Not only this, but I often use the smaller DIY shops as well (Brills in Birchington / James Decor in Cliftonville) for the service and, very often, the price.
This development would, for me at least, mean that I can do a main shop without the hassle of driving to W.+. (Saves fuel, might save the planet as well??) Should this go ahead, my shopping pattern will not change, it will just slightly relocate.
I intend to visit the presentation to discuss specifically my main concern of vehicular access, as it is likely to involve another junction (roundabout? - hopefully, as this will actually slow the speeders!) near to the schools.

Anonymous said...

Chainstores have been destroying small businesses since Woolworths started in the 1930's.

Anonymous said...

This is great news for the area!! Consistently we see individuals (probably of a certain age) moan and groan about any form of growth and progression in Thanet whether it be a new supermarket or anything. Raising the same excuses "local trade" "noise/traffic to the area" blah blah blah... It's irrelevant for those who use the local stores, as you will continue to do so and even if a Sainsbury's was opened.... Whilst those who are forced to use those overpriced shops I.e. Co-op /m&s, another better alternative.

Thanet is a depressed area, thousands out of work and no jobs! We should embrace organisations such as Sainsbury's who offer to invest in this area, creating an alternative and offering over 150 JOBS!! (how many companies do YOU see doing that in Thanet).

Stop suppressing growth and improvement! Let the youth and those out of work have the opportunity to work and those who want greater choice to have it - and for god sake STOP MOANING!!

Anonymous said...

This is great news for the area!! Consistently we see individuals (probably of a certain age) moan and groan about any form of growth and progression in Thanet whether it be a new supermarket or anything. Raising the same excuses "local trade" "noise/traffic to the area" blah blah blah... It's irrelevant for those who use the local stores, as you will continue to do so and even if a Sainsbury's was opened.... Whilst those who are forced to use those overpriced shops I.e. Co-op /m&s, another better alternative.

Thanet is a depressed area, thousands out of work and no jobs! We should embrace organisations such as Sainsbury's who offer to invest in this area, creating an alternative and offering over 150 JOBS!! (how many companies do YOU see doing that in Thanet).

Stop suppressing growth and improvement! Let the youth and those out of work have the opportunity to work and those who want greater choice to have it - and for god sake STOP MOANING!!

Anonymous said...

reference to mike morris comment regarding the developers housing plan.....upon checking ukplanning.co.uk it appears that this plan for '13' dwellings was approved back at the end of january 2011. maybe as the houses have not been built yet, the developer ran out of funds and i suggest maybe has sold the land to sainsburys?

just a thought!

Anonymous said...

With regard to the planning permission; if you look up OL/TH/11/0515 you will see that it was REFUSED on the 7th October 2011.

Mike Morris said...

Any idea when yourself and Tom King will be meeting with the local traders? The shops in Lymington Road and Camborne Avenue which are closest to the development are very keen to know!

DrM. said...

I'm sure it will be a focus of discussion at next Monday's residents Association meeting and we can agree on a broader plan of action there.

It's early days yet!

Peter Checksfield said...

Any idea when the Tesco in Westbrook is due to open Simon? There was a sign there last year saying that it was opening in February 2012 but that sign has gone & the building is nowhere near completed.

Peter Checksfield said...

To answer my own question, it will now be opening at the end of March & they'll be advertising for staff from tomorrow onwards (the job centre just told me!). I hope someone tells the unemployed in their tents on the seafront.

Anonymous said...

Peter I'm sure that all the staff from the shops that will be closed due to Tesco's and co opening will be glad to take up the part time jobs that the supermarkets offer.

Sainsburys are offering 150 jobs in Westgate if they open. Most of them will of course be less than 16 hours to avoid NI etc. But as they will probably make nearly as many full time staff in the other shops unemployed, it won't really help much will it!

And the council will lose a huge amount from all the business rents and rates lost.

But you will have your supermarkets Peter. And I hope you enjoy them.

Peter Checksfield said...

None of the little shops seem to be taking on new staff, so new shops that are cheaper & offer greater variety + new jobs is a win-win situation as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, if you (or anyone you know) needs a job get down to Margate jobcentre & ask for an application form asap & then return it to them by wednesday (& can someone tell the job-and-soap dodgers outside the TC too?).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the advice Peter. At present I have a job, but it is likely that if Sainsburys opens then I will lose my job and my business.

After 33 years of continuous fulltime employment I don't think that I will need the help of the Jobcentre to get employment, I'm sure I can find something to do.

Small fact for you; we have been in a bit of a recession and small shops have been struggling to survive. Hence not taking on hoards of the great unemployed, much as I would love to be able to do so.

Anyway. you were a photographer once weren't you? Already trained and experienced surely there is a world out there for an ambitious self employed snapper.

Peter Checksfield said...

Which shop is yours anon 11:57? I'll pop along to support it, & maybe we can even have a chat about my photography etc?

manda said...

i'm all for the new sainsburys! i can't wait to visit an instore bakery, and have access to a range of food that's affordable! it's all well and good saying that we should support our local stores; i can't afford to! londis charges too much, the co-op on westgate just doesn't stock very much (are the freezers always only half full? or is just when i go there?!) edwards does not provide the most pleasant shopping experience, and the little hardware/sweet/camping/petfood shop in westgate, by londis, just makes no effort to entice me in any more. there's no enthusiasm from any of these shop owners/workers. i don't want to pay to park in birchington, and i always have to drive further afield to do a decent shop. the people on the estate where i live (behind the proposed sainsbury's site) will benefit from cheaper, closer shopping, and maybe jobs that are nearer to home too. brilliant!! bring it on!! and if some of the shops around here that take advantage of being the most convenient don't like it, then (as said above) it'll give them a kick up the backside to do something to save their customers! i LOVE the idea of a new sainsburys!!! i can't wait for polite and friendly staff and a shiny clean store!! i want "three for twos", and "buy one get one free" and "half price" on my dooestep!! (re the houses that were or weren't going to be built on the site, and the road safety aspect; were the developers of that project going to put traffic crossings and lights up to make it safer? i doubt it. no argument with that one, then!)CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Monty said...

At our shop in Birchington we are consistently better than any supermarket you could shop in! We are almost always cheaper, definitely better quality, locally sourced and hopefully polite! We have lots of pound offers, cheap sacks of potatoes, which will be carried to your car, and we pack your bags for you! I agree there are some things you have to buy at the supermarket, being a Vegetarian Mum of 2 involves all sorts of purchases you can't get in Birchington- BUT I am confident we are worth shopping with! A lot of the supermarkets are relying on the ignorance of people who don't shop around or actually work out how much they're paying per kilo for packed items- but we don't take our customers for mugs! When I hear one of our Saturday lads say 'Have a nice day' to someone, I don't cringe, because I know he actually means it! And we have eaten most of our produce, and know where it comes from. By the way, parking is free on Alpha road, just round the corner from the shops, and if you wanted we would put your shopping in your car if you stop at the back gate. We are not a big anonymous company, we are Danny and Theresa, Monty's of Birchington- we employ local people and we support our family with our shop- I know where I'd rather shop if I had the choice!

Peter Checksfield said...

Yes, Monty's is fantastic (I often walk or cycle from Margate just to shop there). Unfortunately the two supermarkets (both Co-Ops) in Birchington aren't so fantastic, very expensive in fact!

manda said...

monty; your shop sounds lovely, and a lot of shops in birchington and westgate are also lovely; nice little shops, run by people that care about their customers and what they sell; you've said yourself that you don't sell everything, so you and your loyal customers have to go further afield to get the other bits. how nice not to have to go all the way to westwood if the new sainsburys opens! i'm sure that the shops that people treasure in birchington and westgate will retain their customers. they've no need to go somewhere else, because you're working hard already at pleasing them. it's the complacent shop owners and workers that'll have their customers running off to sainsburys! (and, just to update; the freezers in the co-op at westgate are still half empty!!)
so.... has their been any more updates since the meeting in birchington on 27th feb?

Anonymous said...

So for the all the people who think it's a good idea for Sainsburys in Westgate - How would you feel having a car park next to your back garden, 11 car park spaces against your back fence!! Opening the curtains to see the public doing their shopping every day of the week, continous noise of the opening hours 7am - 10pm with deliveries everyday. Just ask yourself would you like to live next door to a supermarket?? Just watch out for where you live - Is there any waste land, old shops, buildings - you may have a supermarket near you soon.....

Peter Checksfield said...

So you'd rather live next door to wasteland or empty old shops Anon? I know what I'd prefer...

I don't think anyone on here has mentioned that Tesco in Westbrook opens this week (friday).

Anonymous said...

It seems to me Peter that that you love your supermarkets !!! Think about the small businesses, who have been in the villages for years!!!! I thought this page was about Sainsburys in Westgate, not Tesco in Westbrook...... I can see it now Friday you will be the first person to enter the new store with your shopping trolley!!!! OMG you haven't got a clue!!!!

Anonymous said...

Think about the wasteland that's been there for years too Peter!!! Don't you care about kids having somewhere to get drunk on cheap cider or having old buildings to set light to?! What is the matter with you!?! OMG, you really haven't a clue!!!

Peter Checksfield said...

No anon, I prefer individual greengrocers, bakers & fishmongers...

Unfortunately they've all gone though, so given the choice of using an expensive & smelly corner shop with very little choice, no fresh fruit & (often) out of date produce, or a small supermarket, then I know which one I'll be choosing... & I'm guessing I won't be alone.

Why don't these "small businesses" do something really adventurous, & open up village stores in Acol, Monkton, Manston, Stourmouth, Woodnesborough or any other of the (many) villages in Kent that no longer have ANY shops? I'm sure they'd be far better off than trying to compete with a Tesco or Sainsburys within walking distance, AND they'd be benefiting the communities.

bluefin said...

Peter
Westgate still has individual greengrocers, butchers and good fresh bread from the deli. This Sainsburys will kill off Westgate and turn it into Margate high street with all the consquences that you will mean to our quality of life. This Sainsburys isn't designed to save us the hassle of driving to Westwood for our big shop, it will be made very clear that the Westwood Superstore will be cheaper. This Sainsburys is designed to kill of Westgate and Birchington's local trade. It will also mean less jobs as well, and more local money being talken out of Thanet and this time going to Holborn, London