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Sainsbury's Whittlesey Urban Extension

Project Overview

Vectos provided traffic and transport advice for a mixed used development (including a foodstore) at the eastern edge of Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. As well as a proposed foodstore, the scheme included a country park and commercial floorspace. The scheme was submitted as a hybrid application (part detailed and part outline) for different elements of the site.

The application was in direct competition with a neighbouring site, which was also the subject of a foodstore application. The local planning authority had been advised that only one additional foodstore should be permitted due to the perceived impact on the town centre.

At an early stage, it was clear that local planning authority officers at Fenland District Council (FDC) were minded to recommend the neighbouring site for approval and our client’s site for refusal. A key objective was to demonstrate to FDC that our scheme was more sustainable and subsequently preferable to the neighbouring.

Our Approach

Vectos was able to provide advice on a package of sustainable measures that demonstrated that our client’s site would have better linkages to the town centre, and have overall superior travel characteristics.

Vectos also provided advice on the viability of an alternative site in Whittlesey within the competitor’s control, which we demonstrated through a series of robust traffic surveys had severely compromised transport connections.

The two competing schemes generated substantial interest in Whittlesey and were the subject of several lengthy Committee meetings. Vectos represented the client at all the Committee meetings, where highways issues were scrutinised in detail. Consequently, Vectos were able to assist the client in gaining planning consent. We are currently assisting the project team on responding to various legal challenges.