Soham supermarket planning on expansion

A SUPERMARKET in Soham has announced ambitious plans for expansion, just weeks after it was revealed that two new supermarkets could be moving into housing developments in the town.

Budgens has applied to expand its Clay Street store by another 802 sq m – almost doubling its size- in order to house additional selling space, community rooms and an enlarged police centre.

The planning application was submitted just weeks after it was announced that supermarket giant Asda had expressed an interest in opening a store as part of a development in Downfields area of Fordham Road.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the town, near The Shade estate, Harrier Developments said it was in negotiations with two national retailers to open a store as part of a Northern Gateway development that could include industrial outlets and a petrol station.

A spokesman for Harrier said the development, which could be open by 2013, would provide up to 200 new jobs for the town.

The town’s existing Budgens store was build in 2000 by James Retail Ltd, a business owned by Soham resident Jonathan James, who also owns petrol stations in Littleport and Ely.

Architects behind the proposed expansion, nicol thomas, told planning officials that because of houses to the east and west of the store, the extension would have to take place at the front of the development, out into the existing car park.

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“In order to accommodate the extension, the existing central car parking area will be reconfigured. The existing pedestrian crossings and footpaths that link up with Clay Street and the town centre beyond will be retained and improved where possible.”

The architects added that a consultation was carried out in store in October last year, with 96 per cent of 273 people surveyed supporting plans to expand the store.

A decision on the application is expected within eight weeks.